Went to the nearest supermarket to get stuff for dinner and so on. To my great surprise a supermarket employee was handing out chocolate Easter bunnies at the entrance, and very tasty they were too. Welcome comfort food for the tedium of shopping. This is the first time I’ve encountered such a thing after 14 years in Istanbul. There has been increasing emphasis on ‘Christmas’, referring to the run up to New Year’s Day, with same kind of decoration, card, party packs and presentation packaging to be seen London. Handing out chocolate Easter bunnies is clearly nothing to do with indigenous Greek or Armenian Easter traditions, or even the Easter traditions of western residents in Istanbul who must outweigh the Greek and Armenian population. Like ‘Christmas’, something that people know about through the American centred entertainment industry becomes part of consumer culture, so traditions percolate in strange ways. One relevant issue is that 23rd April (yesterday) was National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Turkey, which celebrates the first sitting of the Turkish National Assembly in Ankara in 1920. There were some special events for children in the shopping mall as a result. I don’t think many shops in Istanbul were handing out Easter chocolate though, and there is an iussue about which supermarket I used. The shop where I had this experience, was Makro. Makro is a part of Migros, a major supermarket chain in Turkey. Makro is the high end branding, though the stock is mostly what can be found in the relatively low end branded Migros shops (Migros, Tansas, and most low end Sok). At the margin there is more emphasis on the more expensive lines, but everything that is in Makro is in a big Migros supermarket. Makro shops are in relatively small and are in shopping malls, and a Makro shop happens to be the closest supermarket to where I live. I do not personally have a problem with consumer culture or the global entertainment industry, some related phenomena strike me as irritating though. Why have chocolate Easter bunnies in Istanbul? Will this spread to all supermarkets and food shops? Is there going to be a growing confusion in Turkey between National Sovereignty day and Easter? A very strange though. Still I did enjoy my unexpected free chocolate.