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Cement firms: Contractors risk lives with cheap Iran cement

Turkish Daily News
August 24, 1999

Chairman of an Anatolian cement producing company says the sale of Iranian cement is conducted without control and that this damages the Turkish economy

Cement factories have claimed cement imported from Iran could cause deaths in parts of Anatolia because it is unreliable in earthquakes.

The managers of four Anatolian cement firms -- Kars, Mardin, Askale and Kurtalan -- said the Iranian cement widely used in Anatolia's east and southeast is highly likely to turn to rubble in quakes.

They said Iranian cement is not up to Turkish and international standards and that Turkish constructors do not understand directions for its use because it is only printed on packages in Persian.

They told the Anatolia news agency that the low quality of Iranian cement could cause wide-scale destruction in a quake.

The chairman of Kars Cement Industry and Trade Corp., now owned by Cimentas in Izmir, Ilhan Gurel said the inflow of cement from Iran increases in June, adding there are currently about 100 trucks delivering cement to Turkey from Iran every day.

"Iranian cement is preferred by contractors because it is cheap. Its sale is conducted with no control. This damages our economy and, in the future, it could cause a disaster," Gurel said.

Cement producers in the east applied to the Competition Council to stop the importation of Iranian cement, but because the legal proceedings are taking time, the inflow of Iranian cement cannot be stopped for at least a year.

Meanwhile, the deputy general director of Konya Cement Factory A.S., Davut Ulus, said ready cement should be used in construction. Ulus said this would limit the number of buildings collapsing to 10-15 percent.


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