LEADING NEWS SOURCE FOR TURKEY AND THE REGION

TURKEY

Countdown begins for casino owners

HDN | 1/29/1998 12:00:00 AM |

Casinos which will be shut on February 11 by court order are filling up in Izmir and Antalya and especially Istanbul.By Hakan Aslaneli / Turkish Daily News Istanbul - Casinos in Turkey were allowed to open one after another from 1990 onwards by a special law but now following charges that they were being used to launder money it is definite that they will be closed down. Court cases have been going on for nearly two years now and a final result was handed down in the dying days of 1997 that the casinos's

  • Casinos which will be shut on February 11 by court order are filling up in Izmir and Antalya and especially Istanbul.By Hakan Aslaneli / Turkish Daily News

    Istanbul - Casinos in Turkey were allowed to open one after another from 1990 onwards by a special law but now following charges that they were being used to launder money it is definite that they will be closed down. Court cases have been going on for nearly two years now and a final result was handed down in the dying days of 1997 that the casinos's last work hour would be 06:30 on February 11, 1998. President Suleyman Demirel also has approved the closure of the casinos which were attracting large numbers of customers in Antalya, Izmir, Bursa and especially Istanbul. The decision to move against the casinos was a joint action undertaken by True Path Party leader Tansu Ciller and Welfare Party Chairman Necmettin Erbakan during the time the two were heading a coalition government.

    As the closure of the casinos will mean that 18,000 workers will be put out of work, it is naturally a matter of curiosity as to where they will find jobs. It is also estimated that the nonexistence of this sector will cause Turkey to lose millions of dollars in foreign exchange.

    The company with the most casinos is the Emperyal chain which belonged to casinos king Omer Lutfu Topal who was murdered in 1996. The Princess chain is second in size and the group which is operated by the Net Touristic Management is third. Erhan Akpinar, the chairman of the Association of Games of Chance to which all the casinos in Turkey belong, was angered by this decision. Akpinar is of the point of view that this decision will send people to neighboring countries and in particular to Greece where interest in this sector has been shown at a time when Turkey needs tourists and foreign exchange.

    Noting that 18,000 people would lose their jobs and they and their families would face difficult circumstances, Akpinar said that these people would remain in limbo now even though they have spent months receiving an education and becoming experts. It is expected that the Turkish managers will carry their casino tourism to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. So those wanting to open new casinos on the island have begun to form long lines in order to apply to the appropriate ministry.

    On the other hand those who want to try their chance at roulette or slot machines are crowding into the casinos to past their time. And especially now that it is the Ramadan holiday season, it is expected that the casinos will be working to full capacity every night. The companies have even prepared special holiday menus.

    Because 18,000 people will be put out of work from February 11 onwards, the casino owners are holding meeting after meeting with their managers concerning the situation.

    It has been announced that the people working for the owner of the Princess casinos chain, Sudi Ozkan, will receive half salaries from their companies for two to three months but if there are no new developments within this period, the workers will be let go.

  • MOST POPULAR

    MOST COMMENTED

    AcerPro S.I.P.A HTML & CSS Agency