President Erdoğan officially opened the Coca Cola factory in Isparta and received lots of criticism on social media including his own supporters.
Coca-Cola is identified with the imperialist dominance that invades material and spiritual spheres, its logo is among those damned by peoples’ struggles.
In the ‘Eastern Block’ countries that collapsed in the 90s and in communist China that has turned from the way of Mao, Coca-Cola was the first corporation to plant its flag. The drinks monopoly managed to turn the perception of capitalism’s representative into exchange value, adding it to the brand in successfully turning even negative feelings into money. As time went on, the CEOs at Coca-Cola discovered that the world is multicultural; it adopted an advertising-marketing strategy that overlapped with cultural values of the countries it penetrated; using slogans and Cyrillic, Chinese or Arabic letters in its logo, which fits the ‘mutual dependency’ motto that replaced economic dependency in imperialism. Therefore, the drink would seem to befit your values and your table will be a base for an equal footing in agreements with imperialism. This win-win relationship was the modern equivalent of Coca-Cola’s claim to be the forbidden love of the complicated consumer profile that shows its anger only through action. Many countries faced military coups, genocides, uprisings and collapses but capitalism's lasting monument Coca-Cola knew how to turn every situation into an opportunity.
In the final analysis, this brand is not irreconcilable with the “one country, one nation, one flag” of Rabia. It survived many political indications during the time of Mubarak when Mursi was in power and after Sisi brought him down. In ordinary conditions, it is interested in the volume of sales. However, the fatwas of the mullahs in Al-Azhar university in Egypt that Coca-Cola includes pig products and hence “haram” and the brand’s association in Middle Eastern Muslim countries with the Israeli policy against Palestine put a spoke in the wheels of the brand. Traditionally in a veiled relationship with political chaos, always wanting to seem loyal to democratic values; you would expect the monopoly to not want to engage in an open, Rabia enforcing relationship with Turkey. The use of the Rabia sign concerns the US. It is a commercial own goal for Coca-Cola that the sign was in the same frame as the company logo in the opening of a facility in Turkey, regardless of the local-national explanation that is given; it is also a political miscalculation by Erdoğan, who decided to ignore the feelings of his own electoral base.
The portrayal of Coca-Cola, the last thing to comply with the ‘local-national’ concept, as a juice in the partisan media did not save the day either. The anti-western fuse in the subconscious of the said electoral support has blown.
So, did Coca-Cola, trying to look nice to its customers during Ramadan and Eid with advertising aggrandising family values, took the risk of this zero-light political sloppiness?
Considering the snap labelling of politically competent Germany as fascists, Holland as tulips and saying “who are you?” to America; Germany swallowing the remarks, that should not even be uttered under conditions of war, and selling arms to Turkey and Siemens entering an energy contract; it seems that democratic concerns have no importance compared with the perpetuity of the market. This agreement was signed at the time of the not so joyful decision regarding Nuriye and Semih by the court that belongs to Europe; the same “democratic” Europe that eggs the government on regarding human rights and democracy. It should also be remembered that the “One-minute” argument was followed by the joint military exercise with Israel.
The democratic limits of monopolies that deal with the most reactionary dictators last until the first agreement and the line reach only as far as the shop counter. This crisis will also be overcome!
We must surrender, however, that this last incident is a break from the routine. It seems Coca-Cola was duped, so have the customers and the partisan media made things worse while trying to save the day. Never mind trying to manipulate cultural differences, the co-appearance of the Coca-Cola logo, which is not much liked in the Middle East, with Rabia needs a lot of capacity to digest.