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Last Köy-Tür Plant Closes

by 5m Editor
24 March 2009, at 10:33am

TURKEY - The last factory of Köy-Tür, once Turkey’s biggest poultry producer, has been shut down.

One thousand jobs have been lost, reports Hurriyet, at the facility in the Torbali district of Izmir, the country's third-biggest city.

Founded in the 1970s, Köy-Tür at its peak was active in 12 different provinces, but the company's last processing facility, Köy-Tür Ege Entegre Tavukçuluk, had been unable to produce for the past seven months. First hit by the bird flu epidemic, then by the global crisis, the facility was eventually shut down.

Many of the workers blamed the management, saying they had not received salaries for the past three months and could not receive their compensation money. Some claimed that Dabak, the company that took over Köy-Tür, had 'purposely depleted' Köy-Tür's finances.

Mevlüt Sigin, a Köy-Tür worker for the past three and a half years, said the company distributed "50 to 100 Turkish Liras as hush money."

"They told us we would get our receivables but then they went," Sigin said. "The company owes me 2,500 liras."

Recep Tangül, a Köy-Tür worker for the past 16 years, said he got personal credit from a bank that was contingent on his job. "I got neither my reparation money nor my salary. I have been suffering for four months," he said. "My social security has also been cancelled. If we fall sick, there is nowhere to go."

Deliberate bankruptcy?

Another worker claimed Köy-Tür was purposely bankrupted. "The crisis is used as an excuse," said Yurdal Simsek, who had been working at the company for two decades. "They emptied the firm."

"This facility once produced nearly 200 tons a day," said Nuri Özerten, president of the newly founded Köy-Tür Victims' Solidarity Association. "If one tried to build such a facility from scratch, one would spend $50 million."

Ismail Dabak, chief executive of Dabak, which purchased 62 per cent of Köy-Tür Ege Entegre Tavukçuluk, admitted the company could not pay salaries.

"There was no chance of recovery as claimants and credit interests piled up after the bird flu epidemic in 2006," he told Hurriyet. "Last year, the fluctuations in exchange rates and the rise in raw material prices hit hard. With the global crisis, banks retreated from lending as other claimants started to panic. We could not even pay our electricity bills. More than one million of our animals died."