Statement By MCIO and Vakiflar Bank Regarding Campaign of Arms Sale On Credit

29 May 2007

In the past weeks, the press statement that we prepared due to the campaign of arms sale on credit mounted by Machinery and Chemical Industry Organization (MCIO) was broadcast on our web site and in media and debated by the public. Non-governmental organizations expressed their sensitivity towards the subject and appealed MCIO to withdraw its decision. 
Upon the public’s reaction and the news related to the campaign of arms sale of MCIO-as we announced in our web site last week-Technical Works General Directorate of the mentioned organization made a verbal account to our Foundation and said “as MCIO, we certainly do not sell arms on credit”. The account is in the direction that MCIO do not sell arms to civilians, the campaign mounted last year was ended due to reactions received from the public and the news in the media was about the mentioned practice that was started last year and discontinued. They also added that arms sale on credit was practiced by private companies and some banks’ credit cards that could be used for these sales but MCIO had nothing to do with these practices.

Again, Esteemed Bilal Karaman, Vakıflar Bank General Director that is an another institution that took part in the campaign but this time prefers to approach the subject sensitively, called our Foundation last Friday (25 May 2007) and explained that the usage of credit cards of their bank and POS machines for the campaign was stopped and Vakıflar Bank would not take part in this death campaign on credit.

Umut Foundation is against all sorts of efforts that will increase individual armament as a non-governmental organization that has been trying to draw attention to the fact that individual armament is a fatal issue which breaches “the right of living”, for years. Therefore, it is our duty to announce verbal accounts made by mentioned institutions to the public. It should be once again emphasised that responsible person(s) and institutions should be sensitive to social reactions occurred regarding “the campaign of arms sale on credit”. Relevant institutions should make official announcement due to this sensitivity regarding the current situation complying with the principle of transparency to the public.

We ask, on behalf of the society, from MCIO, whose prime duty as a state institution is the production of arms for defence sector and Vakıf Bank, Ziraat Bank and Oyak Bank who are also state institutions, to make official and written account regarding the current situation and to end this matter for good. State institutions should encourage and enable the society’s welfare and peace by strengthening social security policies and should not facilitate the citizens to get armed and provide their own security. 
Good Weeks
Umut Foundation