Friday, October 19, 2007

Turkey - Telecom strike

Telecom infrastructure ‘inadequate for disasters’

A strike currently under way by Türk Telekom workers has shown that Turkey is unprepared for times of war or natural disaster in terms of providing uninterrupted telecommunications services, said Yusuf Ata Arıak, chairman of the Turkish Competitive Telco Operators Association (TELKODER).

The strike has made it certain that there is no alternative infrastructure to continue communications -- and this is only solvable through liberalization of the business, he claimed. Arıak further noted that if the strike continues another week, serious problems in home land lines will begin to appear.

At a press conference held in İstanbul yesterday together with the other TELKODER board members, Arıak recalled the breaking of communication and fiber optic cables during the earthquakes in İzmit in 1999 and in Algeria in 2003 and 2004. "All of Turkey's connections with the outside world were cut," Arıak said, underlining that this anomaly has been overcome by the satellite capacity of new operators in the business.

The strike has already begun to concern Türk Telekom subscribers. Many subscribers are calling Türk Telekom customer services to learn how much longer the strike will continue. On the other hand, some customers have opted to call the Turkish Telecommunication Workers' Union (Türkiye Haber-İş), which is the responsible for the strike. Subscribers ask questions which only the company itself can answer such as Will Türk Telekom send bills during the strike? Since there is no one keeping the accounts, will calls be free until the strike ends? Will you end the strike tomorrow, please?

From Today's Zaman

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