Patrice Riemens on Tue, 23 Dec 2008 12:48:49 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> (x-fwd) Bush Shoe' Gives a Turk Firm Footing In the Market

Bwo Sarai Reader-list/ Taraprakash

(Click 'n' hit with the Ducati Model 271 on ;-)

Bush Shoe' Gives a Turk Firm Footing In the Market.

When a pair of black leather oxfords hurled at President Bush in Baghdad 
produced a gasp heard around the world, a Turkish cobbler had a different 
reaction: They were his shoes.

We have been producing that specific style, which I personally designed, 
for 10 years, so I couldn't have missed it, no way,' said Ramazan Baydan, 
a shoemaker in Istanbul. As a shoemaker, you understand.

Although his assertion has been impossible to verify -- cobblers from 
Lebanon, China and Iraq have also staked claims to what is quickly 
becoming some of the most famous footwear in the world -- orders for Mr. 
Baydan's shoes, formerly known as Ducati Model 271 and since renamed 'The 
Bush Shoe,' have poured in from around the world.

A new run of 15,000 pairs, destined for Iraq, went into production on 
Thursday, he said. A British distributor has asked to become the Baydan 
Shoe Company's European sales representative, with a first order of 95,000 
pairs, and an American company has placed an order for 18,000 pairs. Four 
distributors are competing to represent the company in Iraq, where Baydan 
sold 19,000 pairs of this model for about $40 each last year.

Five thousand posters advertising the shoes, on their way to the Middle 
East and Turkey, proclaim 'Goodbye Bush, Welcome Democracy' in Turkish, 
English and Arabic.

For now, Mr. Baydan's customers will have to take his word for it. The 
journalist who launched the shoes at a news conference a week ago, 
Muntader al-Zaidi, 29, was wrestled to the ground by guards and has not 
been seen in public since. Explosives tests by investigators destroyed the 
offending footwear.

But Mr. Baydan insists he recognizes his shoes. Given their light weight, 
just under 11 ounces each, and clunky design, he said he was amazed by 
their aerodynamics. Both shoes rocketed squarely at Mr. Bush's head and 
missed only because of deft ducks by the president.

Throwing a shoe at someone is a gross insult in Arab countries, and Mr. 
Bush is widely unpopular in much of the region. But as he enters his last 
weeks in office, he seems to have gained a small foothold of appreciation 

Noting the spike in sales, Serkan Turk, Baydan's general manager, said, 
'Mr. Bush served some good purpose to the economy before he left. 

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