The earthquake in Turkey has been disastrous for the region. Despite the seismic history of the area, however, the Turkish government plans to build 10 nuclear reactors by the year 2020. The first is to be at Akkuyu Bay on the southeast Mediterranean coast and is scheduled to become operational in the year 2005.

The Akkuyu site is only 25 kilometers from the Ecemis Fault. A 1991 study titled "Neotectonic Structural Features in the Alanuya-Mersin Shelf [in Southern Turkey]" by S. L. Gokcen et al. concluded that the Ecemis fault is active. A 1993 report by P. Gulkan and M. S. Yucemens stated that earthquakes with an intensity of greater than 8 on the Richter scale are possible in the Akkuyu region. Karl Buckthought, a Canadian seismologist, concluded in his 1997 report that there is a 50 percent chance that an earthquake in the magnitude of 7 Richter is a possibility within the next 40 years in Akkuyu Bay.

The building of atomic reactors in earthquake-prone Turkey should be of tremendous concern not only to the citizens of Turkey but also to its many neighbors. John Taylor of the Australian National University in his 1993 study identifies the countries that will be disastrously affected by a major accident in Akkuyu Bay. These countries include -- in addition to Turkey -- Cyprus, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

The international corporations that are bidding for the contract include Atomic Energy (Canada), Westinghouse (USA), Siemens (Germany) and Framatome (France). These corporations should be made to understand by the international community that nuclear technology has the potential of being catastrophic in the area. Building a nuclear plant at Akkuyu spells disaster not only for Turkey but its neighbors as well.

ATHANASIA GREGORIADES

New York