Turkish delight: Tele Atlas maps and geopolitics

Turkish delight: Tele Atlas maps and geopolitics
Maps and geopolitics are closely linked together as demonstrated again this week by an email from Tele Atlas to its customers. This email reveals that the Belgium map maker has provided to a customer in Turkey maps that do not satisfy the Turkish military mapping agency.

Products of this Tele Atlas partner “are quarantined at the Turkish government because the Turkish Military Mapping agency does not agree on our representation of the following two countries/areas: Kosovo is not mapped as a separate country but part of Serbia; Northern Cyprus is not mapped as a separate area representing Turkish Cyprus”, said the email from Tele Atlas.

Tele Atlas is developing its data based on countries recognized by the United Nations. Kosovo and Northern Cyprus are not “countries” according to the UN; but unfortunately they are according to the government in Ankara.

To avoid this sort of problem in the future Tele Atlas is now looking at getting legal assistance from a consultant “to determine the way forward for all geopolitical issues”.

It is sure that this sort of problem is likely to become more frequent for digital map data suppliers developing their activities in countries which have disputed borders or fewer inclinations to respect UN resolutions.

Friday, June 12th 2009

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