28 Aralık 2010 Salı

A Guy Just Can't Catch a Break

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 22 December 2010)

The life of Ünal Kel (37) of Çorum was turned upside down by grifters who used
his birth certificate information. Kel, who has two children from Münevver Kaya with
whom he has lived for eight years, decided to marry Kaya so he could legally register
his children in school. So, in September 2008 he applied to the municipality but officials
determined that Kel had married a Tunisian woman named Assia Aouissaouf in 2006.
When Kel found out that he was married to someone he had never met he filed a
complaint with the public prosecutor. It turned out that the photograph on the marriage
certificate belonged to someone else.

After this incident, in the course of two years Kel was taken into custody 62 times and
spent 38 night in lockup because of the theft and fraud crimes committed by the people
who stole his identity information.

Like a detective, Ünal Kel followed the trail through Bolu, Manısa and Istanbul when he
learned that someone had taken out residency permits in his name. Finally, he determined
that the person who had married Assia Aouissaouf  was a fellow with a long rap sheet
named Idris C. When he couldn't find Idris C. himself he shared his knowledge with the
public prosecutor.

Beginning in January 2009 Kel was summoned by the police to make a statement or
taken into custody every other day and 120,000 Turkish Lira in bills for credit cards,
electricity, water, appliances and bank credit came to his house. After a fruitless two-year
struggle, Kel decided to change his name. He applied to the Çorum Justice Office and
changed his name to Özügüzel.

But changing his name wasn't enough. About 15 days ago the Gendarmerie took Kel
into custody for not sending his daughter to school. Kel explained that he had two
children and both of  them were going to school. In response, the Gendarmerie stated
that 'you have a daughter named Miray Kel and you haven't been sending her to school.'
Thusly, Ünal Kel became the father of yet another child.

Ünal Kel had this to say about his ordeal: 'My psychology is all messed up because of
what I've been through in the past two years. The latest was a child being registered
under my name. When my children ask me whether they have another sibling I can't
give them an answer. Every month at least three or four times I get taken into custody
in the village square by the Gendarmerie or the police. I'm travelling from city to city to
the man who has blackened the lives of myself and my family - Idris C. I don't have
the material or the mental strength t

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