Observations from my trip to Turkey
I have had a very pleasant trip to Turkey not too long ago. I spent most of my time with the family and eating my favorite Turkish food. In between all the eating, I could not help notice how far Turkey had come over the last 10 years under the AKP regime. It was quite astounding actually, the economy is booming:
Tax revenue is high, foreign investment is pouring into the country, unemployment is low and the sovereign borrowing rate is very favorable - lowest it has ever been. People seem happy and on the streets enjoying life. I was told that the AKP party gets over 51% of the votes in a general election but has over 70% approval rating. Those who don’t vote for Erdogan mainly do not approve his foreign policy or fundamentalist views but agree with his economic policies.
A couple amazing tid bits:
Most school kids have Android tablets with all their school books. Teachers get grants to write new learning programs and the plan is to have 100% of all school age kids on this program by end of 2013.
All medical records are electronic and the nationalized health care system works well. You get to your assigned doctor to get dispatched to a specialist if needed. Your prescription is available at any pharmacy of your choice all for $5 equivalent. ALl you need is your national identification card.
I am sure my information is spotty at best but there is no denying that something special is going on there.
Think twice before you stay at Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC
They have a very bizarre policy in the summer to limit the A/C use. The thermostats in the room are programmed to go only to 75 degrees no matter what temperature you set. Here is the message I sent to the night manager, he is actually a nice guy.
Hi XXXXXX –
This is Santo Politi from Spark Capital. I was hoping to talk to you before I left but I did not see you. It sounds like you asked your hotel manager to see me before I leave but I could not talk to her either as I had to leave for a meeting. You have been extremely nice to me in all my stays at your hotel and I wanted you to know that I really appreciate it. The A/C problem in the guest rooms on the other hand have been persistent and I finally came to the realization that this is not a problem with your systems but a hotel policy – for some reason to conserve energy your disregard your guests’ comfort and limit the use of A/C to a min of 75 degrees – so it was not a surprise to me when you confirmed this as I was checking out.
You have to understand how disturbed and angry I am about this. In my last stay there, I spent $587.57 for the night but did not get a good night’s sleep because of this bizarre policy, and as you know this is not the first time. Limiting the A/C is no different than telling your guests to limit their use the bathroom or not to turn on the lights in the room etc., it just does not make sense. I’d appreciate if you can send me a copy of the room contract where it states that guests are not entitled A/C use. If this is not part of your guest contract, I just want to make sure that you make it a policy to disclose it to every guest that checks in – just like you disclose when they are staying in a non-smoking room there is a penalty if they smoke, you should tell them that they are not allowed to lower room temperature below 75 degrees even if they wanted to.
I am not sure if you can do much about this, but I intend to do the little I can and at least take your suggestion in the hotel receipt and write a review on Tripadvisor.com (and other travel sites). At least if anyone considering to stay at your hotel happens to read my review, they’d have a chance to decide for themselves if they would want to sleep in a hot hotel room in the summer of NYC.
Thanks again for all your kindness and good luck