With the August heat hitting hard, our smothered lives behind masks are more unbearable than ever. Recalling our pre-summer fantasies for a Covid-free vacation, we struggle with the unrelenting reality of Corona restrictions that mess up our lives.
Our plans, projects, friendships, family gatherings, weddings, funerals, all things social are disrupted. Our options for socializing are cloistered inside social media platforms, where intelligence agencies run the gamut.
The future looks bleak. Fall is around the corner and more Corona restrictions are likely to imprison us further. In fear of a Covid-20 popping up this winter, or a Covid-21 ruining our lives further next summer, we fight the times. Dying jobs and waning incomes signal a pending depression but we keep a stiff upper lip and deny the perpetrated reality of a world gone wrong.
So does Turkey. Missing her 2019 record of 52 million tourists, the country is quite perplexed and somewhat in denial, that this virus deal is able to disrupt all plans to the point of sabotaging Turkey's vital tourism income. As cynics remember President Trump’s 2019 threats to ‘destroy’ Turkey’s economy with sanctions, they believe Corona did it for him, and smirk in secret thinking the US lost its leverage in the Middle East.
Still hopeful though, Turkey went all out to welcome tourists. A high-tech reception at Istanbul Airport, a smack clean Grand Bazaar and Turkey’s Instagram sensation Salt Bae’s publicity rounds seem good enough to save the day.
Fantasizing on some brave tourists that will fight the pandemic paranoia, Germans come to mind, since they are experts at suspecting conspiracies in the Christian realm. With 5 million of them defying anti-Turkish lobbies every summer for decades now, Turkey awaits the Germans.
But as luck would have it, they are not advised to leave the country, not when they are supposed to be allowing the Corona-Warn App encroaching on their privacy. 17,000 of them protest the over-extended precautions and flood the streets in Berlin, letting the world know that the pandemic is a hype.
Hype or not, the reality is Turkey is hurting and the Germans miss the Mediterranean. In a fantasy world a la Aleyna Tilki style, Turkey would charter planes for Germans, offering vacation spots half price.
Such promotions require PR planning though. A PR team like the one in 'Menajerimi Ara' needs work out the kinks in Turkey’s image and branding. They need to be experts of Turkey’s constantly evolving SWOT analysis. Tough issues like German agents in mosques need to also go into the planning. In the end, what Melissa Takimoglu does for boxers, they need to do it -at an incomparable magnitude- for Turkey.
Living at the mercy of global politics for decades, with limited protection from Turkey, the International Turkish community is best equipped to bring forth such a team. And that’s where Ajans 869 comes in. Perfectly positioned to harness Turkey’s brain drain, our very own marketing agency might just be the solution for Turkey’s PR problem.
But then we have an oddball which is the mystery around Deniz Yücel case, and the never-ending threats mentioned in our Justice for Turks campaign. We believe that Turkey harbors expat-bashing critics that hinder the country's potential. But then again, maybe Turkey is just happy to sidestep WWIII. In that case, expats, PR and tourism income are definitely luxury.
Without further ado, we wish you a great week.
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Since its first issue in 2002, Turkuaz has evolved from a community-oriented quarterly in San Francisco, to a cultural publication in the US, and now a digital video-magazine that caters to the collective experience of Turks living abroad.