Officials said the Turkish Customs Agency has opposed the U.S. demand to
install a special X-ray machine in Izmir. The machine would screen
containers shipped from Izmir to the United States.
Izmir's port of Alsancak contains an inspection hangar and an X-ray
machine, certified by the European Union. Alsancak, based along Turkey's
Aegean Sea, has been the main port for goods to the United States.
"What good would another X-ray machine do?" the official asked. "We made
the investment and the European Union regards the current system as
Others in the Turkish government have advocated honoring the U.S.
request. They said the U.S. equipment would facilitate rapid processing of
Turkish containers in the port of New York, a move meant to reduce costs.
"If the United States installs its machine, American officials will
check the ships destined for the U.S. with the permission of Turkish
officials or together with them," Nazim Butun, the head of the Customs
Department in Izmir, said. "They will also put a security stamp on checked
containers so that no time is lost at ports in the United States."
Baki Simsek, chairman of the Association of Customs Agents in Mersin,
said Turkey employs 700 customs agents. France employs 32,000
"Even if they were all the best and most honest in the world, there
simply aren't enough of them to be able to secure Turkey's borders," Simsek