Zaman, Turkey
June 1 2005

Official Apology from MasterCard
By Yasin Tuncer
Published: Wednesday 01, 2005
zaman.com

Distributed for the UEFA Champions League final match on May 25,
the Istanbul city guide's main sponsor MasterCard apologized for
the insults relating to the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal
Ataturk and Turks.

A statement issued by "MasterCard International" on Tuesday, May 31,
defends that MasterCard had no opportunity to intervene in the content
of the booklet. The statement reminded that negative reactions stemmed
from the Lonely Planet's Istanbul Guide. MasterCard apologized to the
Turkish public for the unfortunate developments and for the fact that
they did not detect the controversial text beforehand.

They also noted that they were shocked by the excerpts in the book,
said MasterCard Southeast Europe Director General Ozlem Imece,
admitting that she had not read the guide prior to the news report
that Zaman prepared and brought to the headlines on Monday. Claiming
their reasons as they were busy with the preparations ahead of the
final game; they paid tremendous attention to efforts for the positive
promotion of Turkey for the foreign guests and that they had provided
an unforgettable Istanbul journey for them, added Imece. She said
their web site was hacked by the protesters.