Anti-Bush T-shirts in high demand

Muharrem Üstündağ, designer and producer of the gamma Bush T-shirts made popular by director Fatih Akın, is trying to keep pace with high demand for the shirt both within Turkey and internationally.

Haberin Devamı

The controversial t-shirt includes a swastika in place of the ‘s’ in US President George Bush’s last name, which landed Fatih Akın, who was wearing the shirt when a photographer from a German newspaper visited the director on a movie shoot, in court for breaking German law against displaying Nazi symbols. Akın’s growing stature as a director of movies like “Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul” thrust Üstündağ’s shirt into the public eye, leading to sell-outs in İstanbul's alternative district, Kadıköy, where Akın bought the shirt. The director defended the shirt in an interview with Spiegel. “You can apply irony to something like that. You can redefine the symbol in a politically correct horizon. My t-shirt is more than mere provocation", he said.   


Haberin Devamı

A wholesaler in his shop, Kripton, in the textile centre of Istanbul, Merter, Üstündağ carries out the production of his material in his Sefaköy workshop. Stating that he is the designer and producer of all the clothes sold in the shops, Üstündağ, close friends with Tarık Başoğlu who sold the t-shirt to Fatih Akın, says, "It gives us great happiness to be able to sell activist T-shirts of this kind. It gives us great job satisfaction. We thought this idea up one evening with Tarık and decided to produce it straight away. The kind of people buying the T-shirts are generally like us anyway -people who see the funny side of life."

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