Piers Kelly writes:...Antony Loewenstein has drawn my attention to this excellent little piece in New York’s Forward. Apparently, in the aftermath of the Gaza flotilla crisis there is a small movement in Israel to rename Turkish coffee.
Antony Loewenstein has drawn my attention to this excellent little piece in New York’s Forward. Apparently, in the aftermath of the Gaza flotilla crisis there is a small movement in Israel to rename Turkish coffee, just as elements in the US once tried to change French fries to ‘freedom fries’.
Bad enough, the movement’s proponents say, to be insulted by the Turkish government, denounced by its prime minister and have one’s flag burned by Turkish demonstrators without also having to drink the Turks’ coffee – especially since they never invented it in the first place.
So far, no new names have been proposed, and a boycott appeal has fallen flat – ‘Turkish’ applies to the method of preparation, not the provenance of the product (which the article explains in detail). Likewise, the French ambassador to Washington pointed out back in 2003 that French fries are in fact from Belgium. I remember being surprised to learn that both Greek and Turkish coffee are identical, but in Melbourne’s supermarkets the product is sold under both labels in order to appeal to different markets. In fact ‘Greek coffee’ is itself a kind of freedom fries-style label that came into circulation after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Later, Cypriots re-christened Turkish Delight as Cyprus Delight.
There’s a whole swag of similar examples and you can read about them at the bottom of this entry in Wikipedia. Perhaps the most amusing is the campaign during World War I to rename ‘German measles’ as ‘liberty measles’. I would be so disappointed if this turned out not to be true. Can anyone back this up?
Update: jensfiederer (comments, below) has discovered this: