I can verify that the cigarettes sold as Camel Turkish Gold in the States really are sold by Camel in Turkey, and have been for some time before the whole launch of the Turkish Gold line Stateside. I used to know this girl whose parents were posted at the American Embassy in Turkey, and whenever she'd go to visit her folks out there, she'd bring back a few cartons of Turkish Camels and give out the packs to her friends as presents.
They were definently the same blend of tobacco as what's sold as Camel Turkish Golds now; to me at least, the flavor's pretty unmistakable. There were some interesting differences in the packaging, though. The packs lacked the blue and faux-gold-leaf motif so beloved in the American cigarettes, and of course rather than presenting themselves and Camel Turkish Gold, they were simply Camels. Most interestingly, the motto at the bottom, rather than identifying itself as a "Smooth & Mellow Turkish Blend", read "Fine American Tobacco". The cigarettes themselves had the same little ring of little gold psis around the filters.
Now this raises some interesting questions. Is the tobacco in Turkish Golds actually from America or Turkey? I can understand the marketing logic in the switch, since each country seems faintly exotic and decadent to people in the other, and exotic and decadent are two things that plenty of people look for in a cigarette. But they can't both be true. I'd swear on a stack of bibles that the blend in both cigarettes is the same, but something funny's going on somewhere.
One thing I know for sure, though: them's some damn fine cigarettes.
Update, Jul. 2002
tells me that Turkish Golds are made of Turkish tobacco, grown in the US. Which would make both pieces of advertising true. Perhaps this mystery is solved.