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Sunday, 3 December, 2000, 17:06 GMT
Turkish PM website hacked
Bulent Ecevit
Protest against prime minister's economic polices
Computer hackers have taken over the website of the Turkish Prime Minister's office in protest against the government's economic policies.

The hackers, describing themselves as children of underpaid civil servants, left a message on the official website of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

They said they were protesting against a proposal to limit pay increases for public sector employees.

The restricted wage policy is part of Turkey's plan to fight inflation with the help of the International Monetary Fund.

"This web page has been destroyed by RobertoSmix and apprentice eXtraxheR and all the information has been stolen," read a message left by the hackers on the website.

"We are protesting the money politics of the government of Turkey ... and the 10% alms on offer," they said.

The hackers said they had done no permanent damage to the website, adding that they were willing to share the information they took with anyone who wants it.

IMF talks

Turkey has been hit by a banking crisis marked by huge capital outflows and a dramatic fall in share prices.

An IMF team is due to meet Turkish officials on Monday to discuss possible emergency funding to restore confidence in Turkey's markets.

The financial markets are looking for a clear sign that the IMF will help Turkey out of an economic mess. It could involve additional loans of as much as $4bn.

The head of the Turkish Treasury, Selcuk Demiralp, has said he is confident the IMF will act.

"This is a matter of prestige for them as well as for us," he told a Sunday newspaper.

IMF demands

If Turkey's IMF reform programme were to collapse, the repercussions would certainly be felt in other emerging markets.

But Turkish officials believe most economic fundamentals are good and the problems can be resolved.

Last week's sudden lack of confidence Turkey's financial system sparked off the withdrawal of billions of dollars of capital.

In return for emergency loans, the IMF is expected to demand decisive action from the government on privatisation and on banking and tax reform.

The reforms have been delayed partly because of political pressure from opponents of the IMF programme.

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See also:

27 Oct 00 | Sci/Tech
Hacking: A history
11 Feb 00 | UK
A - Z: Hack attack
24 Mar 00 | Business
Outdoing the hackers
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