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Friday, October 14, 2011 | Altintas

It is about 8 am when I get back on the road. During the night there was heavy rain and a fierce storm, so much so that the rain hammering on the roof kept me awake. Before me is Istanbul, a grey and monotonous sight due to the continuous rain and for the first time for ages there is heavy traffic, and even worse, severe hold-ups. I drive over a bridge and reach the Asian part of town. I have to turn off here for the appointment with Danone, which is not yet confirmed.

I find a quiet place to park and phone Danone’s HQ with whom I hope to arrange a visit to their production facility where they are using Brigl & Bergmeister labels. After a short discussion it turns out that they can’t see me today but maybe I could come on the way back from Baku. We leave it at that for the moment and soon I am back on the motorway to Ankara, where Mr Cem Altintas of Altintas Goldcap is expecting me this afternoon. My trusty satnav reckons on around 450kms and 5 hours will be required, but I actually do it in about four hours. On the way to Ankara, the landscape changes again, from the gentle hills in and around Istanbul to impressive mountains with jagged cliffs, and the motorway, which runs along the mountain ridge, offers incredible views.

In the afternoon I reach Altintas Goldcap. Mr Cem Altintas, Commercial Director, greets me warmly and tells me the history of the company and its products. Altintas is one of the major producers of caps in Turkey and supplies both the PET, as well as the glass industry. The family-owned company, which supplies caps to Coca Cola, amongst others, produces four different types of caps, including logo printing, exclusively for the beverage and food industries.

After reviewing the various machines and a final photo shoot, Mr Altintas kindly offers me his premises to park for the night, an offer which I gratefully accept. Although it is relatively early, it is already getting dark, so I spend the evening writing up the blog and generally sorting myself out, especially as regards the next stage of my journey towards Eastern Turkey. Only the call of the muezzin nearby breaks the silence of the evening.