Turkey’s Economy Teeters As Hammacher Schlemmer Drops Turkish Towels From Holiday Gift Catalog

“For 168 years we’ve been providing them with our best cotton terry,” says President Erdoğan, “and now they switch to Egyptian!”

President Erdogan was devastated by Hammacher Schlemmer’s decision to end a relationship that had begun with his great great great grandfather in 1848.

Hammacher Schlemmer, America’s oldest and most revered catalog company, has dealt a crippling blow to the Turkish economy by eliminating Genuine Turkish Towels, as well as Genuine Turkish Bathrobes, from its 2016 Gift Catalog.

During a strong holiday season Hammacher Schlemmer can sell more than 200,000 Genuine Turkish Bathrobes in the United States — their #1 item for the past four decades.

“Our farmers were working all summer to gather the plushest 900-gram cotton for the luxurious Hammacher Schlemmer towels,” said Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “I personally traveled to our Denizli agricultural region to check the progress of the cotton picking. Then, suddenly, after 168 years as their exclusive supplier, Hammacher tells us they’re switching to Egyptian cotton… Egyptian!

President Erdogan said the country’s farmers wanted to cultivate opium poppies instead of cotton this year, “But I convinced them that our time-honored relationship with Hammacher Schlemmer was more important than the tens of millions they could earn growing poppies. Now we’re ruined — Turkish cotton represents 86% of our exports.”

Of these Egyptian cotton towel substitutes, Erdogan said, “Look at this 200-gram, short pile crap — it’s going to feel like sandpaper on your ass.”

Bob Hightower, Senior Buyer at Hammacher Schlemmer, admitted that 100% Turkish cotton is the thickest and most absorbent in the world, but said, “the Egyptian cotton is also pretty good and our vendor in Cairo threw in a 20lb crate of Medjool dates with every bulk order.”

While Erdogan said he was deeply disappointed, he was directing his trade minister to contact Bed, Bath and Beyond and Pottery Barn to see about offloading their surplus Turkish-grown cotton.