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    Oktay Eksi: The spreading of "credit card disasters" in Turkey

    Hürriyet Haber
    22.02.2006 - 11:56 | Son Güncelleme:

    Every concept and every organization which sets even one foot within the borders of our country winds up, in the end, going through a process of degeneration. I won't stretch out this explanation; I am referring in this instance to the "credit card disasters" which you are hearing about, reading about, and which now dominate the pages of all the newspapers.

    The latest incident we all heard about was the suicide of a police officer in the Turkish Parliament. The man had racked up 7 thousand YTL in debt on his credit card, which fast became 14 thousand YTL in debt with interest. His suicide, as a way out of this debt, turned all eyes in Turkey onto the question of how to deal with credit card debt in our society.
     
    The Turkish Parliament (TBMM) is planning on taking a look at the subject tomorrow (Thursday), including discussing a new draft of a bill designed to ease part of the problem. But rather than focusing on the contents of the draft proposal, I would like to examine on some of the practical reasons behind these "credit card disasters" that we are seeing more and more of these days.
     
    To whom are credit cards given?
     
    They are given to people of at least 18 years in age, people who know what they are doing, and understand the consequences of their actions, right? But if that's the case, how can people claim "I was not able to control my spending when shopping with my credit card. I thought that when the bill came, I would be able to find a solution."
     
    Don't people know that if they don't successfully pay the bank for the bills they have incurred, that one day an official from the bank, a re-possession agent, will come to their doors? Ok, so the money-lenders are bad. But those who fall into their hands should be able to withstand the consequences. This doesn't mean though that we appreciate the irresponsibility-in fact, the immorality-that is displayed in giving credit cards to said citizens, and then asking them for money.
     
    Look around you. Even the neighborhood bakkal wishes he had a credit card machine. Because once you catch a person through credit cards, you can milk them like a cow for their money.
     
    If you give a person earning 1,000 YTL a month a credit card which allows him or her to spend 5 or even 10 thousand YTL in credit, you cannot defend your action as deriving from good intention. Because what it really means is that you are exploiting that person's dreams, drawing them into as much debt as possible, and in the end, they fall into your hands.
     
    Due to the fact that banks deal in money, we cannot expect a solution, or even understanding from them on this matter. For that reason, the solution will come from precautions found through political willpower.
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