Everyone is drinking it, everyone is speaking of it -- the new "Cola Turka" launched in the midst of Turkey's sizzling summer has been an overnight success with some suggesting that a diplomatic spat between Ankara and Wash-ington has helped the new cola take on its better-known US rivals. \n"We didn't chose to take advantage of the political situation," says Eda Gokkan, in charge of the new soda's advertising campaign at Young and Rubicam. \n"We're just trying to sell the Turkish life-style," she said. \nBut the cola's launch two weeks ago coincided with an outbreak of nationalist sentiment in the wake of the arrest by US forces of 11 Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq, according to the sales manager of a supermarket in the center of Istanbul who gave her name as Didem. \n"Because of the war in Iraq, 90 percent of Turks have turned against the United States and many chose to buy local rather than US products," she said. \nThe cola's successful launch "is the result of an la turca reaction'" to the arrest of the Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq on July 4th, the mass daily newspaper Milliyet proclaimed. \nThe soldiers were released 60 hours later, but the whole episode was viewed as a national humiliation and it sparked a diplomatic row with Washington. \nNo reason was officially given for the arrests, but US forces said the Turkish soldiers were acting "suspiciously," adding that explosives were found at their Sulaymaniyah headquarters. \nSome papers have since high-lighted instances of shopkeepers who are refusing to sell US products, including the more famous US colas. \nHurriyet newspaper, quoting a survey by the Roper ASW institute, said the sales of US products had dropped by 13 percent in Turkey in the past few months. \nA tongue-in-cheek TV ad has also helped "Cola Turka," a product sold by the Turkish Ulker food group, gain national attention. \nStarring US comedian Chevy Chase, the TV spot shows Americans adopting Turkish customs as they drink the new cola, from throwing water after a departing car to ensure its smooth journey to growing big moustaches. \n"This isn't Turkish propaganda, but rather positive nationalism," says Serdar Erener, one of those responsible for advertising the new product. \nEarly sales reports suggest Cola Turka has gained a 25 percent market share in a country which consumes 1 billion liters of colas a year, with Coca Cola holding the lion's share. \nWith the cola war now in full swing, the Vatan daily wondered about the implications for domestic politics, since the son of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a local distributor for the new Cola Turka, while the son of former prime minister Mesut Yilmaz, a political rival, is a distributor for Coca Cola.
NINE NEW CASES: The CECC said two locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, and seven imported ones – five women and two men – brought the nation’s total to 348 People who refuse to wear a mask on public transportation after being asked to do so would face a NT$3,000 to NT$15,000 fine, effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday after announcing nine additional COVID-19 cases. In a move to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Tuesday announced that people must wear masks on trains and intercity buses, while Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, on Tuesday said that people should wear them when they cannot maintain a social distance of 1.5m indoors. Chen yesterday
TARGETED TEXTS: The center’s head said that visitor numbers at scenic spots were greater than expected and people did not do a very good job of social distancing The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday sent two warning text messages to urge people to practice social distancing, especially by avoiding crowded scenic areas. The two messages were sent at 11:55am on the third day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, reminding people about social distancing and hand hygiene to help prevent COVID-19 infection. “When visiting crowded scenic spots during the Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, please keep a social distance of at least 1.5m indoors and 1m outdoors, wear a mask and wash your hands frequently. Please wear a mask and seek immediate medical attention if you are feeling ill
The US National Security Council yesterday thanked Taiwan for its support amid the COVID-19 pandemic following President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement that Taiwan would donate 10 million masks to hard-hit countries. The donation includes 2 million masks to the US on top of the weekly 100,000 announced previously; 7 million to Europe; and 1 million to diplomatic allies, on top of 1 million Taiwan procured for allies from their neighboring countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday. After European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed appreciation for the donations, the US body yesterday wrote its thanks on Twitter. “We
STIMULUS FUNDS: Companies that report weak sales can apply for the financial aid, while subsidies for a one-time injection of working capital would also be available The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said that it would subsidize up to 40 percent of workers’ salaries for businesses that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by a NT$39.6 billion (US$1.31 billion) budget — part of a newly expanded NT$1.05 trillion economic stimulus package approved by the Executive Yuan on Thursday — the ministry plans to assist companies with employee wages to help prevent job cuts. Companies facing an annual drop in sales of at least 50 percent for two consecutive months can apply for the financial aid, which would cover up to 40 percent of their employees’