Turkey tries map diplomacy

Map heads all know about Piri Reis, Turkey’s mysterious master cartographer.

Now his 1513 world map stars in the full-page color advertisement below taken out in the September 21, 2017 national edition of The New York Times.

It jumped out at me while flipping through the paper (yeah, #oldschool) after a conversation a few days ago over someone considering speaking at a tech conference in Istanbul.

The pleading by event organizers was just about proportional to the “don’t even think about it” warning of the U.S. State Department. Issued back in March, it advises U.S. citizens to “carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey at this time, and avoid travel to southeast Turkey due to the persistent threat of terrorism.” And that’s just the lede of the 850-word warning.

The ad was paid for by the government’s investment advisory body (ISPAT), though it’s impossible to say how much since the only thing the paper doesn’t see fit to print (or publish in a transparent way) are its ad rates.

Calling Turkey a “safe haven for investors,” the bullet points below the map highlight the country’s dynamic economy, young population, strategic geography, low taxes, “reformist investment climate” and more.

This is one of those times where I’ll gladly sideline myself from the geopolitical debate, but it’s nice to see such a beautiful map and fascinating figure brought up for general consumption.

Update Oct. 8  U.S. Suspends Visa Services in Turkey, and Turkey Responds in Kind

Map detail image: U.S. public domain, via Wikimedia commons.

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