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AA Global reaches new heights to help Guinness World Records tell tall story

When AA Global Language Services Ltd received the loftiest of tall orders from a major client they put their top man on it.

And Chief Executive Kirk Akdemir didn’t come up short – or at least not in the business sense.

Rarely the biggest in a room at 5ft 7in tall, Kirk was dwarfed when he lined up alongside Sultan Kosen – at 8ft 3in officially recognised as the tallest man in the world.

But Kirk could be counted on when it came to conveying Sultan’s message to the world’s media as Guinness World Records took the record-breaker on a tour of the Far East.

The result was some high profile coverage in newspapers from the South China Morning Post to the Wall Street Journal as well as online and on TV, which was good news for Sultan, Guinness World Records and AA Global.

Kirk launched AA Global in Worcester 25 years ago, but it was his continuing link with his native Turkey that helped to attract his new client.

“We have an office in Istanbul and Sultan is from south-east Turkey so when Guinness World Records and their sister company Ripley’s Entertainment wanted AA Global to provide translation services for their events we were delighted to help,” said Kirk.

“The promotional tour covered Hong Kong and Thailand and attracted huge media interest so it was vital that Sultan and our clients were able to get their message across effectively, and we were able to do that.

“We have a network of thousands of interpreters and translators and I generally concentrate on running the business, but I volunteered myself for this job, which is high profile in all senses of the word. It’s fair to say Sultan kept me on my toes. Even when he was sitting down.”

Sultan, who is 29, hit the headlines worldwide in March when he underwent surgery in the United States to remedy the growth hormones which had resulted in him becoming one of only 10 men in history to exceed eight feet in height.

His towering stature, hands nearly a foot wide and a shoe size of 60 may be big news, but he walks with the aid of crutches and, with AA Global’s help, he told how his fame helped him get the treatment that stopped him growing and improved his health.

“Being in the Guinness World Records made a tremendous change to my life,” said Sultan.

“First of all, I go around the world. I can see places that I only dreamed of travelling to and I meet great people. But more importantly, my health has gotten better.”

Kirk said that after spending a week with Sultan he understands how hard life can be for someone so tall.

“All his clothes have to be specially made for him. He can’t get into a car, he has to use a minibus with a row of seats taken out. He is taller than most rooms and he has to crouch through every doorway.”

“So hotels really aren’t easy and special arrangements have to be made to get him into a plane.

“We knew when we started speaking to Guinness World Records that any job for them would be a big one, but we never imagined it would be this big. He certainly made me appreciate the advantages of being medium height!”


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