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    Workers protest privatization of Tüpraş

    Hürriyet Haber
    03.09.2005 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    Workers at the state-owned petroleum refinery Tüpraş went on strike on Friday around Turkey in protest against the projected sell off to foreign investors, reported the Anatolian news agency. The company is slated for privatization as Turkey is undertaking moves to restructure the economy. Protests, which are expected to last for the next few days, were carried out in Aliağa, Kırıkkale, Kocaeli and Batman. Workers gathering outside the Aliağa Tüpraş site on Friday, said that they were against the privatization of the company and insisted that it was bad for Turkey as Tüpraş refineries hold strategic importance. Petrol-İş union chairman Mustafa Öztaşkın said, "There is substantial state involvement in the petrol industry in other developed countries such as Germany and France, but in Turkey the state wants to sell it all." Petrol-İş Batman branch Chairman Nimetullah Sözen said Tüpraş's earnings are significant and that it is Europe's seventh-largest company. Sözen said workers and the union will not let the sale take place. "Tüpraş is vital in Batman and the region, both in terms of employment and production. These facts cannot be disregarded. What we need in Batman, where unemployment and poverty are rampant, is not the sale of the company but a modernization of it." The refinery in Kırıkkale is still continuing production but halted sales. Tankers waiting for refined petroleum formed queues of approximately five kilometers in length, waiting to filled. The Tüpraş protests have support from state-owned petrochemicals company Petkim and Türk Telekom representatives.
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