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Import Business News

Imported Products Without Turkish Instructions
may face import restrictions soon

"Send 5,000 of these TV sets to our imports distributor in Istanbul,
and don't forget the Turkish Users Manuals..."
Send these TV sets to Turkey, with Turkish Users Manuals
Learn some Turkish today.
It's just good business practice.

Tough Import Laws Coming to Turkey?

It may have been a coincidence... But on the same day that Panasonic Marketing Europe Director, Dietrich Nedele, announced the introduction of Turkish language menus and users manuals for all of his company's electronic exports to Turkey, the Director of the Turkish Language Society (TDK), Sükrü H. Akalın (see our 'Political Correctness' blog at: http://www.learningpracticalturkish.com/language-learning--006-07-13.html) had an announcement of his own.

He called for a Turkish boycott of foreign import products that didn't provide Turkish language instructions or users manuals. He cited, but did not identify, one company that exports to Turkey which, although it provides users manuals in 18 different languages, doesn't provide one in Turkish.

In Akalın's opinion that company was being "scornful, disrespectful and belittling of Turkey" and the Turkish language -- which, by the way, is the 7th (or 9th, depending on which source you accept) most spoken of the world's languages, being used by more that 200 million people worldwide.

He went on to say that Turkey had been struggling with this generic import problem for several years now. And, he criticized Turkish companies who imported products without Turkish Users Manuals, saying that it was not just a matter of respect for the Turkish language, but also of respect for Turkish consumer's rights. Akalın added that it is essential to adhere to import procedures established for this purpose -- most of which are specified in existing Turkish Consumer Law.

Using France as an example, he said, "When France established its own Dil Yasası (Language Law) in 1994, its first principle was 'Products without users manuals in French will be prevented from import.'"

Further, Akalın actively supports a bill proposed by the AKP Member of Parliament from Karaman that would fill any legal holes in currently existing Turkish Import Law.

In the same pronouncement, however, Akalın said, "We must also insist on the Turkish typewriter-standard keyboard (known as 'F-tipi klavye') when importing computers," which added a new (and controversial) dimension to his argument.

We thought Director Akalın was making good sense until his point about the F-klavye keyboards for computer imports... But trying to force a 60-year-old manual-typewriter standard (credited to a typewriting teacher named İhsan Sıtkıı Yener in 1946) upon the modern Turkish computer society is 'busy work' at best, the devil's work at worst. Besides... any slavish F-keyboard enthusiast who can't or won't learn to deal with the de facto Türkçe Qwerty keyboard standard for business computers, can find numerous ways to accommodate himself/herself -- via software (e.g. Microsoft's virtual keyboard-switching solution) or via optional keyboard hardware, offered by Apple on its Mac Products and by any number of computer peripheral import companies, such as A4Tech.

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