Turkish Shoemaker is Going to Get Rich

Everyone wants a pair of shoes like the ones thrown at President Bush in Iraq.

“We have been producing that specific style, which I personally designed, for 10 years, so I couldn’t have missed it, no way,” said Ramazan Baydan, a shoemaker in Istanbul. “As a shoemaker, you understand.”

Although his assertion has been impossible to verify — cobblers from Lebanon, China and Iraq have also staked claims to what is quickly becoming some of the most famous footwear in the world — orders for Mr. Baydan’s shoes, formerly known as Ducati Model 271 and since renamed “The Bush Shoe,” have poured in from around the world.

A new run of 15,000 pairs, destined for Iraq, went into production on Thursday, he said. A British distributor has asked to become the Baydan Shoe Company’s European sales representative, with a first order of 95,000 pairs, and an American company has placed an order for 18,000 pairs. Four distributors are competing to represent the company in Iraq, where Baydan sold 19,000 pairs of this model for about $40 each last year.

I need to find out what size my dad wears, in European sizes.

Given their light weight, just under 11 ounces each, and clunky design, he said he was amazed by their aerodynamics. Both shoes rocketed squarely at Mr. Bush’s head and missed only because of deft ducks by the president.

By the way, the original pair of shoes was destroyed while being tested for dangerous substances. So that Saudi who offered ten million dollars for the “freedom shoes” is out of luck.

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Filed under miscellaneous, War in Iraq

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