28 Şubat 2011 Pazartesi

'Bodyguard': Turkish-Israeli Love Story

bodyguard (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 26 February 2011)

For the first time in Israel's history a diplomat has married a local
bodyguard. A female Israili diplomat at the Istanbul Consulate General
named R. worked together with a Turkish Jew named V., who was
a security guard for the Israeli airline El-Al, for the first time at
Atatürk Airport.

In the aftermath of the 'Cast Lead Operation' against Gaza, when
flights to Turkey were suspended, V. becames R.'s personal bodyguard
and a love story reminiscent of the film 'Bodyguard' starring Kevin
Costner and Whitney Houston began. The two lovers kept their
relationship secret at first but when they decided to marry a problem
arose because the Israeli Foreign Ministry does not allow married
couples to work at the same diplomatic post.

R. then asked for special permission to work with V. at the Istanbul
Consulate General. A special Foreign Ministry committee took up
the issue and gave its permission, which was unprecedented. In any
event, the couple was only able to work together for a few months.
They recently made their return to Israel and married in Jerusalem.

Millions Vouchsafed, Vanished in Liechtenstein

fraud (links to original article)

(Sabah Newspaper,  23 February 2011)

Tourism operator Roza Polat and her partner decided recently to
invest 19.5 million dollars (30 million 830 thousand Turkish Liras),
which they earned from tourism abroad,  in Turkey. So Polat wanted
to withdraw the money, which was in Hong Kong banks, but bank
officials told her that it would be five months before she could get
the money.

Polat looked for a way to bring the money to Turkey in a shorter
time and through the recommendation of a friend she met Eren A.
Identifying himself as a banker and a 30 percent owner of a private
bank, Eren A. said that he could get the money to Turkey in five of
six days. Eren A. won Polat's confidence and she provided him with
her bank password and passport. Eren A., who lives in a fancy
apartment in Beşiktaş,  promptly emtied Polat's account and trans-
ferred the money to a bank in Liechtenstein.

Polat stated that she lost track of the money. Eren A. contiunally
put her off and she said that after three months she still had not
gotten her money back. Polat added that soon afterwards armed
men began threatening her, saying 'two people who were expecting
money from Eren A. seized the promisory note and agreement in
my possession. When I said I would file a complaint they threatened
me with death.' Polat has filed a complaint petition with the Üsküdar
public prosecutor.

27 Şubat 2011 Pazar

'Friends' Abandon Fallen Treasure Hunter

cave (links to original article)

Ibrahim Çapa (32) got stuck in a cave in Akhisar district of Manisa
province for 18 hours while searching for treasure. Çapa fell into a 3.5
meter hole and was left for dead by his friends. He was saved by
Gendarmerie teams he contacted via his cellphone.

It was learned that Çapa and four friends came to Akhisar from Antalya
a few days ago to search for treasure. Since Çapa was the smallest and
thinnest of  the group he entered the cave but after advancing two meters
into the rocks he fell into a hole. Rather than helping Çapa, his friends
ran away so Çapa sought help from the Gendarmerie, which traced
Çapa's cellphone signal to the cave. Following a long struggle by AKUT
(Search and Rescue) and firefighters, Çapa was rescued.

Ultimatum on Sphinx's Return to Turkey

sphinx (links to original article)

Minister of Culture Ertuğrul Günay has issued a 'sphinx ultimatum' to
German officials by means of an interview he gave to the German
Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Günay said that archeologic excavation permits given to Germans for
work at Hattuşaş, the capital of the Hittite civilization, and other places
could be canceled if there is no progress regarding the return of the
sphinx, which was found during an excavation at Hattuşaş and brought
to Germany for restoration at the beginning of the 20th century. The
sphinx is currently in a museum in Berlin.

Günay added that 'new universities and archeologic institutes have been
founded in Turkey, we have enthusiastic and successful archeologists.
If we can't establish cooperation on this matter as we would like then
we have no hesitation in giving permits for these excavations to our own

In a statement officials of the German Foreign Ministry made to AFP
they said that talks are underway between German and Turkish experts
regarding the return of the sphinx in the first half of this year.

25 Şubat 2011 Cuma

Women Battle Taxi Driver with Pepper Spray

taxi (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 22 February 2011)

Bystanders watched a battle between two women and a taxi driver
in Beyoğlu with interest. The fight was caught by DHA cameras
second by second. One woman kicked off the taxi's side-view mirror
and fought off the taxi driver with pepper spray when he came after

The incident occured on Tarlabaşı Boulevard yesterday at 2230.
According to claims, while two women were getting out of a taxi
another taxi came along the right side quite close and the driver
blew his horn. Losing her bearings for a moment, one of the women
fell down. She then said to the driver 'why do you keep on blowing
your horn?' The argument between the women and the driver then
turned into a cursing match while bystanders tried to separate the two

The taxi driver was persuaded to get back in his car but one of the
women kicked off the taxi's side-view mirror. The driver then grabbed
a bat he had in his car and came after the women. This prompted one
women to take some pepper spray from her purse and spray it in the
driver's face. The driver nevertheless managed to hit one of the women
with the bat but he fell to the ground, whereupon the woman sprayed
him again.

Bystanders at this point could not keep the two sides apart and police
came. Both the women and the driver filed a complaint about each other
and all went to the Beyoğlu police station.

Magical Mushrooms for Cancer Fight

mushrooms (links to original article)

(Star Newspaper, 25 February 2011)

Doctors told Dida Kaymaz 'you have six months to live' but she's
beaten cancer in three of five organs. Now she's working for cancer

Before she was 26 years old Dida Kaymaz had been stricken with
stomach, colon and lung cancer. The disease subsequently spread to
her brain putting her in a life and death struggle and prompting doctors
to give her only six months to live. Six years later she's beaten cancer.

Dida Kaymaz, now 32, is the head of the Cancer-free Life Association
and she succeeded in beating cancer cells in three parts of her body.
She's now working to help cancer patients and says 'great success has
been achieved against three of the cancers in five separate organs of mine.
There was cancer in my stomach, colon, lungs, liver and brain. The cancer
cells have been neutralized in all but my colon and lungs. I was losing 5-0
to cancer but now I'm in the lead at 3-2.'

Kaymaz explained that she ate a diet without red meat and sugar and made
sure to spend lots of time in a oxygen-full environment. Kaymaz said that
she sees alternative medicine as a complementing treatment for cancer
patients and that she has been drinking reishi mushroom tea to strengthen
her immune system for five and a half years.

Dida Kaymaz provided information about a project she has planned with
the support of Pendosis Holiday Village and the Çukurova Development
Agency to raise reishi mushrooms. Kaymaz explained that reishi mushrooms
have been used for thousands of years to treat a great number of ailments
and are known as 'immortal mushrooms'. She added that 'reishi has a great
role to play in the supportive treatment of cancer but they're very difficult
to find and are very expensive. We plan to raise these medicinal mushrooms
and provide them to cancer patients free of charge.'

//ed. note: separate reporting indicates that reishi mushrooms are considered
the only natural medicine for cancer in Japan. Kaymaz plans to raise reishi
mushrooms in the Toros Mountains near Adana.//

23 Şubat 2011 Çarşamba

Turkish-Indian Palace Intrigue

haydarabad (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 22 February 2011)

The Nizam of Haydarabad, Mükerrem Bereket Shah, who was the
grandson of the last Caliph, Abdulmecit, and Manolya Onur, who was
runner-up Miss Turkey in 1975, married in 1990 and divorced four
years later. A daughter named Nilüfer was born of this marriage.
According to claims, Bereket Shah and Manolya Onur certified two
agreements whereby the land upon which the Çırağan Palace sits in
Haydarabad, India, would be left to Princess Nilüfer after Shah's death.

However, when Bereket Shah's first wife and the mother of two of his
children, Esra Birgen, entered the picture things got complicated. Birgen
got signature authority from Bereket Shah and transferred the Çırağan
Palace, worth 100 million dollars, to a fund she established.

The gossip doesn't end here. It is claimed that Esra Birgen has tried to
prevent the 19 year-old Nilüfer from reaping her father's inheritance.
Esra Birgen allegedly wanted Pulet Hülya Acurol, who served as Shah's
assistant for 11 years, to cut a lock of Nilüfer's hair and bring it to her,
with the aim of conducting a DNA test. Acurol rejected Birgen's request
and was fired for this reason. She then filed suit against Birgen, claiming
that she had worked without insurance and could therefor not obtain any

Esra Birgen, whose two children from Shah are named Shehkar and
Azmet, rejected these claims, saying 'the claim that I wanted the hair
for a DNA test is completely unreal. And even if there any doubt out
there this is an issue for Bereket Shah and Manolya Onur. This doesn't
concern me in any way whatsoever. Pulet Hülya Acurol, whose name
has been mentioned in the press, was fired for unpleasant and unethical
reasons.  Manolya Onur got close to Hülya Acurol in order to get hold
of any document or information that could harm me so she could use it
in court.'

Birgen claimed that reports in the press were deliberately put there by
Manolya Onur. She added 'all these reports are baseless. Manolya
Onur requested much too much property from Bereket Shah, despite
the fact that they were married such a short time. She's trying to harm
Bereket Shah and us by having these reports published. But the person
she has shamed is the child's father. Her only aim is to obtain the
Çırağan Palace in India, which is currently registered to a trust set up
by Bereket Shah. In future years all of the trust's property will be shared
equally among the children.'

Esra Birgen went on to say that 'because she said she was having a
difficult time in the period right after her divorce, I sent Manolya Onur
2,500 dollars each month for three years out of my own pocket. While
I was making payments to her, she filed a suit against us in India. She
came to the court with her daughter wearing inappropriate outfits and
made ugly and baseless claims about us. The suits were filed 17 years
ago and they're still going on.'

Dilek Birgen, the wife of Esra Birgen's brother Mehmet Birgen, had
this to say about Pulet Hülya Acurol, who has filed suit against Esra
Birgen for making her work without insurance and for being fired without
compensation: 'we asked Pulet Hülya Acurol not to file the suit but she
didn't listen to us. Manolya Onur went to court as her witness but they
still lost.'

Mükerrem Bereket Shah, the Nizam of Haydarabad, and his first wife
Esra Birgen married in 1952 and divorced in 1979. The couple had two
children, one boy and one girl.

Mexican Banditos, Flat Tires in Izmir

mexico (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 22 February 2011)

Remzi Göl and Cem Atsüren, who work as accountants in various
factories in Bursa, withdrew money from a bank in order to take it to
their work place. They got in their car and began to drive but shortly
afterwards they realized that they had a flat tire so they got out of the
car to change it. A couple who then approached them offering to help
instead stole the money in the car.

In the last month two such incidents have been recorded by security
cameras. Police investigated the drivers of 159 vehicles to find the
couple who stole 7,000 dollars from Remzi Göl and 15,000 dollars,
along with 5,000 Turkish Lira, from Cem Atsüren. Police determined
that one of these vehicles had been rented in Istanbul by a Mexican
couple. They apprehended Monika Madrid Rees (39) and her
husband Vicdor Manuel Samanigo Gorcya (46) while they were
sleeping in a hotel in Izmir the night before last.

After a search, police seized 11,755 dollars, 1850 Euros, 700 Turkish
Liras, 740 Mexican pesos and three Canadian dollars the suspects
had in their possession. The police also found needles for puncturing
automobile tires and a map of the city. The couple confessed to their

22 Şubat 2011 Salı

Shopkeeper Reads Shoppers the Riot Act

forbidden (links to original article)

(Sabah Newspaper, 21 February 2011)

//ed. note: for a similar story, see 'Tell it to the Wall' (4 Jan 2011)//

In Adana's Kozan district, a storekeeper who wanted to relieve
himself from some of his customers' requests and bothersome
behavior has put up some interesting warnings and prohibitions,
written on cardboard in the store. Customers who have read them
are amazed.

Store owner Mehmet Canbolat (52) has been selling stationary,
electronic goods and gifts for 26 years. He stated that he's come
into contact with many customers during this time and has sometimes
encountered strange requests and behaviour. Some of the written
warnings that Canbolat has posted in his store include:

'No shopping for women who ask lots of questions and don't mind
their children'

'No talking politics'

'Behave yourself. No 'tough guy' attitudes'

'If you're going to talk trash and disturb others don't shop here.'

'If our store doesn't suit you don't buy anything.'

Turks Can't Escape Belgian Morgue

morgue (links to original article)

(Sabah Newspaper, 21 February 2011)

Two Turkish brothers living in Belgium got into a fight with some
Turkish neighbors on 18 September. Süleyman (33) and Uğur (32)
Aygün were killed. Two suspects who were neighbors of the Aygün
family both in Turkey and in the neighborhood in Belgium were

But the grieving parents of the two brothers, Vahit and Naciye Aygün,
have not yet taken possession of the bodies because 'the investigation
is continuing'. The father, Vahit Aygün, said 'it's been 155 days. My
two children are in the morgue. The prosecutor running the investiga-
tion says 'the investigative file hasn't been examined yet.' The chief
of the court postponed the hearing for the same reason. Please won't
someone say something? For the love of God, what the hecks going

21 Şubat 2011 Pazartesi

Druken Buddies Bet on a Joy Ride

bet (links to original article)

(Sabah Newspaper, 20 February 2011)

In Istanbul, two drunken buddies made a bet with each other and
commandeered a bus. The night before last, 27 year-old Serdal Y.
and his pal Can B., the same age, met after work in Pendik. The
two buddies bought some alcohol from a liquor store, drinking and
chatting long into the night, and then made a bet about whether they
could steal a car. As the hours passed, the two friends became
thoroughly drunk.

It is alleged that the two pals noticed a bus parked across from where
they were sitting at 2 AM, whereupon Can said to Serdal 'come on,
we're going for a ride. You said I couldn't steal one but I am stealing
one.'  The two friends were able to travel from Pendik to Tuzla with
their stolen bus in one hour, before stopping at a gas station  to buy
something to drink.

While leaving the gas station, though, they hit a gas pump. The two
were caught after the bus owner and the gas station workers informed
on them. Can B. has a rap sheet reflecting 13 separate crimes and
Serdal has four.

Greeks Don't Mask Hunger for Vengence

revenge (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 20 February 2011)

//ed. note: Karagöz revenge aspect in last para of original article)//

The Greeks, who haven't been able to stomach UNESCO's decision
last year to register the shadow play Hacivat and Karagöz as a
'Turkish cultural heritage', are readying revenge by entering the
Guinness Book of World Records thanks to 'Karagiozis' (Greek for

A mask of Karagöz measuring 13.5 x 8.5 meters will be displayed
for a Guinness official one day before the parade for the Iskeçe
Carnival that will take place on 6 March. The goal is to have the
blue and white Karagöz mask enter the Guinness Book of World
Records as 'the biggest mask in the world'.

The Greek media, which has reacted to UNESCO's registering of
the Karagöz patent to Turkey with headlines like 'They've Turkified
Karagiozis' and 'They've Given Karagiozis a Turkish Passport', claim
that with this mask revenge will be theirs.

Grandma Set Ablaze by Angry Grandkids

kuma (links to original article)

(Sabah Newspaper, 20 February 2011)

In Şanlıurfa, a youth who stormed his father's house because the
father had imposed a 'kuma' (spare wife) on the youth's mother,
poured gasoline on his grandmother and burned her when he didn't
find his father at the house. Emine Altun (83) was seriously burned
and is receiving treatment.

The incident occured the night before last in Yakubiye neighborhood.
According to claims, Ibrahim Halil Altun (20), the son of 50 year-old
Mehmet Altun who imposed the kuma on his wife, went to his father's
house together with three siblings at 10 o'clock. Not finding their
father at the house, the offsprings' anger only increased and they
turned their fury on their grandmother, reasoning that she had given
permission for their father to bring in the kuma.

When Emine Altun said that she had supported her son's decision
to take a kuma, Ibrahim Altun flew into a rage, went to grab a bottle
of gasoline and returned to his grandmother. He then poured the gas
over her and lit it. Altun and his siblings then ran away. The elderly
woman ran screaming from the house and neighbors took her to
the hospital. Heavily burned, Emine Altun's condition was described
as serious. After the conflagration the suspects were rounded up.
Ahmet, Abdülkadir and Hatice Altun were released pending trial,
while Ibrahim Halil Altun was arrested.

20 Şubat 2011 Pazar

Raucous Spice Girls Slam Turkish Grocer

spice (links to original article)

(Sabah Newspaper, 18 February 2011)

A group of young girls in Bournemouth city in England beat up a
Turk who runs a grocery store there and broke the store's windows.
The attack on Çağdaş Açıkgöz by the five girls, thought to be about
14 years old, was caught on video thanks to the owner of a neighboring
store and the security camera inside the grocery store.

Local police distributed the images and called on people who know
these girls to come forward. In his statement, Açıkgöz said that the
young girls had come to his store two weeks earlier and he had an
argument with them when they began smoking inside the store.

Açıkgöz stated that when the girls came back last saturday he said
he wanted them to leave and he added that 'they cursed at me and
refused to leave. I grabbed one of them lightly by the arm and tried
to usher her outside. At that point, someone hit me from behind.
When they did leave they hit the door and broke the glass. Then
they ran away.' The English newspaper Daily Mail characterized
the five young girls as 'hoodlums'.

Mayor Plays Hard Ball, Woman Gets Garbage Duty

garbage (links to original article)

(Vatan Newspaper, 19 February 2011)

Nesibe Turan (44), who has worked in the Yakutiye Municipality
of Erzurum city for 20 years, was returned to her former office from
the cadre of the National Education Directorate where she had been
assigned, by a court order. Turan stated that she has been given duty
with the men on night shift garbage-collection by AK Party Mayor
Ali Korkut in reaction to this order and she characterized it as exile.
In a written statement Mayor Korkut said that 'we informed her that
there was no position or place available for her in the office and that
there was only a job with the cleaning crew. Knowing this, she still

Last January 530 of the 800 workers in the Yakutiye Municipality
were deemed excess and distributed by drawing lots to other organ-
izations. Lastly, Nesibe Turan, who was the chief of the municipality's
Women's Shelter, was assigned to the National Education Directorate.
But Turan went to court to get her old job back, saying that she was
happy working in the municipality, and the court decided that Turan
should go back to the municipality. Thinking that she would go back
to her old job as chief of the Women's Shelter, Turan instead found
herself on sanitation duty. Turan went out in the bitter cold with her male
colleagues but called it exile. The bachelor Turan, who lives with her
parents, said this about her life in exile:

'I worked nine years as an accountant, nine years in the nationalization
service and the last two years as the chief of the Women's Shelter. I'm
not ashamed to work in the cleaning service of the municipality to which
I've given 20 of my years. This is how I make my living. Yesterday I
was a chief, today I'm a garbage collector. Only God is free from trouble.
I applied to the court, which is my most natural right, because I didn't
like my assignment and returned to the municipality. The other garbage
collectors are helping me. My only problem is the cold. Whatever duty
they give me I'll do.'

Yakutiye Mayor Ali Korkut issued a written statement concerning
Nesibe Turan's move to garbage duty, saying 'Four towns were put
under the umbrella of Yakutiye by a order of the council of ministers.
In one fell swoop the municipality was full of workers so they were
distributed to other places. Of the 530 who were released elsewhere
only four came back. We met with them and insisted that they not
return but they too insisted.'

Mayor Korkut said that they are trying to forge an identity institution-
ally. Included in his statement was this explanation: 'We told these
individuals that there would be no position or place for them in the
organization. The only place they could go was sanitation. They knew
this when they came back. This is how we gave these four people over
to garbage duty. Women and men work in sanitation departments the
world over. We've taken them in but we won't change the way we're
proceeding on the road to institutionalization.'

19 Şubat 2011 Cumartesi

'Third Ear' Busts Gang, Customer Kills Wife

eavesdrop (links to original article)

A gang specializing in 'eavesdropping' for suspicious spouses has
been busted in Antalya. Based on a tip made to the Antalya public
prosecutor about a year ago, it was determined that a group was
illegally monitoring telephones. The group was then itself placed
under surveillance by a court order. After a year of technical and
physical tracking the police learned that the gang had been operating
in 15 provinces.

Raids were simultaneously conducted at previously determined addresses
yesterday. Gang leader Ercan Ö. and a retired noncommissioned officer
were among 10 people arrested within the scope of the operation,
dubbed 'Third Ear'. The gang penetrated some official offices and
conducted monitoring of telephones and surrounding areas in exchange
for money. Most of its customers were individuals suspicious of their
spouses or lovers.

Police learned that the gang monitored a customer's spouse or lover
for 1500 Turkish Liras, sold equipment for surveillance programs
and area monitoring for between two and five thousand Turkish Liras
and offered physical tracking services, as well. Fourty-four people
in 15 provinces who obtained 'services' from the gang were taken
into custody. Some 50 people were victims of the gang's activities.
Important businessmen were among those who had the gang track
their wives or lovers.

It has been revealed that one of the gang's customers, 52 year-old
Faik Erdem Ferimaz, killed his wife Nurhayat Ferimaz on 30 June
2010 in Tekirdağ. Ferimaz learned that his wife, whom he was having
the gang monitor, cheated on him and he then strangled her with his
bare hands.

The gang used primarily two methods for monitoring cellphones.
In one of them, the gang would load a pirate program in three
minutes onto the telephone to be monitored. The gang then started
to listen to the cellphone conversations with their own equipment.
Most of the phones tracked this way were new phones that were
given as gifts to those who would be monitored.

The second method involved 3G phones, such that conversations
were automatically forwarded to the 'customer's' email as a voice
file. With this program the surroundings of the telephone in question
could be monitored. Faik Erdem Ferimaz had this system loaded
onto his wife's 3G phone and he was able to witness live her illicit

US Sailors Save Turk, Burnish Image


//ed. note: contributed by my sister Sandy Blasier from Cleveland.
Cavs may be down but Cleveland's navy men are up to the task.//

18 Şubat 2011 Cuma

Chivalrous Ex-Minister Goes A Kiss Too Far

yücelen (links to original article)

(Habertürk Newspaper,  11 February 2011)
An indictment has been prepared  about former Minister Rüştü Kazım
Yücelen for the crime of  'intentional sexual assault', which carries up to
a ten-year sentence in accordance with article 102 of Turkish Law.
An inquiry was begun after a complaint was filed regarding the
8 November incident.

The doctor and her sibling were guests of Yücelen, whom they knew
through their family, at a hotel. While chatting, Yücelen became uneasy
and asked the doctor to give him an injection. Yücelen then went
to another room with Dr. Necla G. but when the ampoule holding the
medicine broke the doctor's finger bled. The sexual harassment began
at this point.

It is claimed that Yücelen kissed the doctor's cut finger twice in a row
and when she tried to leave he pulled Dr. Necla G. toward himself
and forced a kiss on her lips. There will be an announcement within
15 days as to whether or not the indictment will be accepted.

//ed. note: Yücelen was Interior Minister from 6/2001 to 8/2002//

17 Şubat 2011 Perşembe

Victor Rubs It In, Lands in Hospital

meram (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 17 February 2011)

In the Kurtuluş neighborhood of  Konya's Meram district two groups
of friends went to an internet cafe and started to play the war game
Counter Strike, with the winner getting a tray of baklava. After about
two hours of play the victorious group got its baklava.

The two groups then went to a park at around 2230 and started to
eat the baklava. At this point, 19 year-old Hüseyin Kara said to the
losing side 'you don't know how to play the game. Idiots baklava
tastes good.'  Hearing this, about ten members of the defeated group
cried 'around here we play Counter best!' and attacked Kara, sparking
a battle between the two groups.

Hüseyin Kara was seriously injured in the fight, while another three
of his friends were slightly wounded. Kara was taken to the Konya
Model Hospital for treatement of wounds he sustained to the head and
arms. Police are looking for the suspects who beat the four young men
and then escaped.

For 4 Turkish Brothers, They'll Always Have Paris

paris (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 17 February 2011)

In Asnieres Sur Seine, one of the suburbs close to France's capital
Paris, four Turkish brothers had a fight over money that turned into
an all-out battle with guns and bats. During the fight, one brother killed
two others, while another survived his wounds.

According to information Hürriyet was able to obtain from eye witness
neighbors and security officials, the four brothers from Diyarbakır got
into a fight over debts connected with their bar in Paris. The fight
continued in front of the house of the oldest brother, Serkan Aras.
While one of his brothers tried to defend himself with a knife, Serkan
Aras used nail-spiked bat. Another brother suffered an axe blow to
his head and then fell to the floor with a bullet wound in the neck.
Next, another brother died right there from a  gunshot through his heart.
The brothers' father, Erdoğan Aras, arrived at the scene and tearfully
asked Serkan Aras 'how could you kill your brothers?'

Although police and rescue teams tried to save the brother wounded
in the head, they failed. Two brothers died and two escaped but
one was later captured. The police took all the family members into
custody in order to get statements from them. Turkish migrants in
the area who know the family said that the brothers' names were
Nedim, Cihan, Alan and Serkan.


15 Şubat 2011 Salı

'Much Blood Will Flow' No Threat, Just Steam

//ed note: link for original article not available at this time.//

(Habertürk Newspaper, 14 February 2011)

Every day there's a new murder for 'love' which starts with a threat,
ends with death and the victim is a woman. And even if  woman who
suffer these threats, violence and, ultimately, vicious crimes from men
who can't bear being rejected, make petitions to public prosecutors
the horrific outcomes don't change.

A woman named A.N. in Isparta appealed to the prosecutor when
she received a message from a boyfriend she had left that read 'you
started this war, much blood will flow.'  Based on A.N.'s complaint,
the prosecutor then opened a case against her old boyfriend S.M.
because of the threat. During the trial, the Isparta 1st Magistrate
Court looked into whether or not the message had frightened A.N.

In a surprising development, the court found that this woman who
had been threatened with death had committed an 'unjustified action'
by rejecting her boyfriend. Furthermore, the court, based on its view
that the woman had acted unjustly, evaluated that it was 'natural for
the old boyfriend to send the 'much blood will flow' message because
he sent it while he was consumed with violent anger and anguish after
having been rejected.' With this interpretation, the court rendered a
decision to acquit based on its opinion that there had been no crime
associated with the threat.

The case was moved to a higher court, Yargıtay, after the prosecutor
objected to the Isparta court's ruling. The Yargıtay 4th Crimes Court
issued a decision that the woman has protection against verbal threats.
The Yargıtay made this evaluation: 'the act of threatening is a fact which
disturbs a person's serenity and which compromises a person's peace
of mind and freedom of thought and will. It is not a condition that the
threat should have an effect on the person in question during a particular
incident. For this reason, there is no need to determine whether or not
the victim was scared.'

The Yargıtay thereby voided the Isparta court's acquittal decision and
asked that S.M., who sent the message, be sentenced to between six
months and two years in jail.


14 Şubat 2011 Pazartesi

Capt. John Smith, Before He Was Famous

john smith (link to original article)

//ed. note: herewith another in our blog's occasional looks at historical
esoterica of note.//

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 28 September 2008)

English adventurer John Smith fought against the Turks alongside the
Austrians in Hungary from 1593 to 1606 and killed three Turks. During
one these wars Smith was taken prisoner and served as a galley slave
in Istanbul. He escaped and afterwards went with the first European
pioneers to America and with the colony he established there set the
foundation for today's USA.

John Smith, who was born in England in 1580, had an adventurous
nature. At 16 he went to Holland and fought with the Spanish. At 20
he went to Hungary to fight against the Turks together with the
Austrians. According to his own account, Smith killed three Turks
during one of these battles and in recognition of his accomplishment
the king presented him with a shield upon which the heads of three
Turks were carved. In the course of another battle Smith was taken
prisoner by the Turks and brought to Istanbul, where he served as
a galley slave.

Somehow, Smith escaped and made his way through the Caucasus
and Crimea back to Europe and England, flirting with death all the while.
Meanwhile, in 1605 the London Company reached an agreement with
a very able pirate named Captain Newport who had raided four Spanish
colonial cities in America and captured 20 ships.  The company carefully
selected 150 people for three ships that would sail to America. John
Smith was one of them.

If Only She'd Used Her Genius for Good...

kamile (links to original article)

The technician killed in Erzurum on the night of 9 February was the
victim of a horrific love crime. It has been determined that the
technician's wife identified herself on the phone as a young girl to a
youth she saw and liked from afar.  She induced the young man to fall
in love with her and then, identifying her husband as an older brother
who was torturing her, had the youth kill her husband.

Recep Inan (30), who worked in the passport office of the Security
Directorate as a technician, was killed by 23 stab wounds in his home
last Wednesday. Inan's 27 year-old wife Kamile Inan, the mother of his
four children, told police that her husband had been killed by a friend
named Orhan who had come to the house to collect payment of a debt.
Orhan was then interrogated by police and he confirmed that Inan owed
him 500 Turkish Lira but added that Inan was repaying him piece by piece
in an effort to close the debt. Witnesses confirmed that Orhan had not
gone to the house on the night of the incident.

Police found a white coat and a pair of shoes near the house and then
cross examined Kamile Inan, whereupon the young woman confessed
everything. According to her statement, she and Recep Inan were from
Hakkari province's Şemdinli district and moved to Erzurum after getting
married. One day when she went back to Şemdinli, Kamile noticed
Keşfettin Öveç (23) and fell in love with him. She then found out Öveç's
phone number and called him, making it appear to be a coincidence.
Kamile identified herself to Öveç as a young single girl named Aysel and
their friendship began.

The friendship's next stage was telephonic love but Öveç wanted to meet
face to face. At this point Kamile hatched her horrific plan, telling Öveç
that her husband of eight years was her older brother and that 'he is
constantly beating and torturing me. He won't let me out of the house.
That's why I can't meet with you.'  Kamile found a picture of a pretty
young girl and sent it to her boyfriend, who fell hopelessly in love.

Kamile kept on complaining about her 'older brother' during her phone
calls with Öveç and convinced the young man that for them to be
together the older brother would have to be taken out of the picture.
Kamile thought of all the fine details of her murder plan and concocted
a lie so that when she came face to face with her boyfried he would
not realize that his correspondant was actually Kamile and not the girl
in the picture.  Kamile told Öveç that 'Aysel' had a heart problem and
would be at a neighbor's house' when Öveç came and that her sister
'Kamile' would open the door for Öveç.

Öveç came to Erzurum from Hakkari and since he had never seen her
face he didn't know that the person who opened the door for him was
actually Kamile Inan. Öveç went to the bedroom and stabbed the
sleeping Recep Inan while Kamile stayed in another room with the
children, telling them that 'your father is talking with someone. Don't
leave the room.'  Kamile had Öveç take off the white coat he was
wearing, thinking that it would attract too much attention. She told
Öveç to 'put on her older brother's coat' and gave him her husband's
coat. In his rush to leave, Öveç couldn't find his own shoes and left
wearing the slippers he had put on.

When Kamile confessed and identified Öveç he was captured in
Ağrı aboad the bus he had boarded to return to Hakkari. It was
at this point that Öveç learned that his girlfriend was not single,
that her name was Kamile and not Aysel, and that the person he
killed was not her older brother but her husband. Recep Inan was
buried in his hometown of Hakkari. Their four children, ranging
from 7 years old to one and a half, were taken to a children's

Cold-hearted Lawyer or Just Cold

sweaters (links to original article)

In Izmir, 47 year-old lawyer S.K. was taken into custody for stealing
three sweaters from a store in Konak. According to claims, S.K. took
7 or 8 sweaters she liked from a store worker and went to the dressing
room. When S.K. emerged a bit later she told the worker who asked
for the sweaters 'I'll put them in their place myself', but the worker
insisted on getting the sweaters back.

At this point, an alarm tag dropped to the floor from among the sweaters.
When the worker picked up the alarm tag and saw that it had been cut
from a sweater, on which part of the tag remained, store officials were
informed of the situation. The police were called and Z.K. was searched
in a special room, where it was determined that Z.K. had cut the alarm
tags with a scissors, that she was wearing two of them and that she had
put one in her handbag.

The sweaters, worth 377 Turkish Liras, were taken from S.K. and she
was brought to the Kemeraltı police station for an identity check. It was
here that police determined that S.K. was a lawyer accredited to the
Izmir Bar Association. Z.K. was freed pending trial.

When it was learned that the suspect was a lawyer, surprised store
officials and police mulled over the possibility that Z.K. may be a klepto-
maniac (a condition where a person cannot help themself from stealing
although they are not in need.) 

//ed. note: throughout the article the sweater thief was alternately
identified as S.K. or Z.K., perhaps to protect her from sweater

11 Şubat 2011 Cuma

Tonya Desperate About Housewives

tonya (links to original article)

(Habertürk Newspaper, 10 February 2011)

A poll created by the Tonya district of Trabzon to commemorate
the 93rd anniversary of its liberation (from the Russians) has stirred
up the district. The poll was intended to determine the most liked
person in various professions but when the subject of 'most liked
housewife' showed up in the poll all hell broke loose.

The Tonya Municipality, which has a population of 17,500, started
work on a poll aimed at determining the most liked people in the
district prior to the liberation ceremonies that will take place on
17 February.  The poll asks people to pick the most liked politician,
bureaucrat, educator, shopowner, official and sportsman but when
men in the district saw a question about the most liked housewife
they rang the alarm bells. Fifty people applied to the district chief
to have the poll canceled.

Bekir Uzunoğlu, a local shopowner,  said that 'the housewives of
Tonya are the best housewives. It would be a big mistake to choose
one.'  He is against the poll and said 'naturally, everyone who
participates in the poll will vote for his own wife, or mother, or
relative. But if someone gets more votes than expected that will
create tension. It will be nothing but trouble. If they were to give
20-25 votes to my wife then I would demand an explanation from

Inan Kalyoncu objected too and added 'such a question doesn't
makes sense. What's the criteria? It's over the top.'  Kazım Aktaş
remarked that 'it's wrong from every angle. In the end it will create
bad feelings.'

Tonya District Chief Şenol Turan stated that 'it started out with good
intentions but there are those who are uncomfortable with it. I'm
having it looked into. We'll have the 'housewife' question evaluated
and make a decision.'

Mayor Ahmet Kurt of the AK Party said that the motivation was to
bring the people of Tonya together and he added that 'some people's
attitudes are primitive. We'll conduct this poll. Those who have put
forth the petitions are known to have a particular political view. We
will not argue about how wonderful all our women are.'

Chief's Rooster Crows Too Early, Leaves as Gift

rooster (links to original article)

Bilal Toprak, a second year student at Ankara University's Law
School, yesterday became the 2011th person to join the Facebook
page of Prof. Dr. Yusuf Ziya Özcan, the head of the Supreme
Education Council (YÖK). Özcan will present a Chinese rooster
as a gift to Toprak at a ceremony. The rooster in question has been
raised in the YÖK garden at Bilkent but because it crows too early
in the morning local residents have complained to Prime Minister
Tayyip Erdoğan.

Toprak said that he has tried to become the 2011th member ever
since the day he heard that Özcan would give the rooster as a gift.
He explained as follows: 'I have sympathy for Dr. Özcan anyway.
When I heard that he had opened a page on Facebook I wanted
to become a member but when I heard that he'd give the rooster
as a gift I became more determined. This morning (yesterday) it
all fell into place. I'm really glad. I live in an apartment but I'll have
a special place built there for the rooster. It's a memento of  Dr.
Özcan, it has a special place for me. Meeting with the chief  is
also getting me excited. YÖK officials called me yesterday and
afterwards the chief and I exchanged messages. I want to go to
YÖK as soon as possible and get my rooster. It's great that the
chief makes surprises like this that differ from the idea of YÖK
in peoples' mind. He doesn't sit in an ivory tower saying 'I'm
the YÖK Chief'. He's one with the people and with the students.'

'Saw' Inspired Killer Freed by Lazy Court

saw (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 8 February 2011)

Celalettin Erkal (24) stabbed his high school girlfriend Funda Işşiz
in 37 places and hid the body in an unused deep freezer in an incident
that occured in Urla district of Izmir in 2005. Erkal was sentenced to
life for the crime but because the sentence was not confirmed by
a higher court, the Yargıtay,  Erkal has been released from prison in
accordance with section 102 of the Sentence Court Law (CMK).

The higher court made the decision to release Erkal from Uşak prison
on 31 January upon the request of his lawyer who stated that Erkal
had served more than the mandatory five years of his sentence.

Erkal, who at the time of the crime was a student in the electronics
section of the senior professional school at Dokuz Eylül University,
stated that 'I thought she was cheating on me. My love had been
sacrificed. I committed the crime as I had seen it done in the film
'Saw' that I'd watched before.'

The Izmir 9th Serious Crimes Court sentenced Erkal to life in prison
but the Yargıtay court voided the order because it found the related
report by the Forensic Medicine Council to be incomplete. The
report was then remedied and the original court re-issued the same
life sentence and it went to the Yargıtay for review. The Yargıtay,
however, has still not produced a result on the case.

Funda Işsiz's family has filed suit in the Urla Court of First Instance
asking for a total of 400,000 Turkish Liras compensation - 200,000
for pain and suffering and 200,000 for material damages. The suit
is continuing.

10 Şubat 2011 Perşembe

Festus Okey Case: Slow Motion Justice

festus okey (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 9 February 2011)

Nigerian Festus Okey died on Wednesday, 20 August 2007, when,
it is claimed, he was shot in the head while trying to take the gun of
policeman Cengiz Yıldız at the Beyoğu police station after having
been taken into custody on a narcotics charge.

Four lawyers who are members of the Modern Lawyers Association
filed an intervention motion with the court during the latest hearing of
the four year-old case, which took place in the Beyoğlu 4th Serious
Crimes Court. The court committee, however, rejected the motion
and filed a charge against the lawyers, contending that they tried to
interfere with a judicial proceeding and insulted the court.

Yesterday, after the incident ten lawyers, all members of the association,
gathered in front of the Beyoğlu Judiciary Building and made an
announcement, stating that they have filed a complaint about the 4th
Serious Crimes Court committee with the Judges and Prosecutors
Supreme Council (HSYK).

Lawyer Hüseyin Boğatekin said that they will continue to follow the
case and he added that 'the court's desire to punish those who seek
justice rather than the suspect will not deter us. Other than expenses
paid out for stationary and perfunctory matters, there has been no
progress in four years.'


//ed. note: in his column of 10 February 2011, Kanat Atkaya (Hürriyet
Newspaper) noted that Festus Okey 'had come to Istanbul with the
dream of becoming a footballer but landed in the police station and
died. The police claim that Festus Okey shot himself in the head while
trying to take a policeman's gun from his belt! When Festus died he
didn't even have a shirt on! The police station's cameras weren't
working at that time either! Festus Okey was returned to his country
in a casket with the words 'Thank You Turkey' written on it.'//


Istanbul-Brooklyn Bridge


(Hürriyet Newspaper, 9 February 2011)

Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş has met with his Brooklyn counterpart
Marty Markowitz. Topbaş was greeted by Markowitz in front of the
Brooklyn Municipal Building, together with a Brooklyn students band
and dance show. The song 'Türkiyem' was played and Topbaş made
a speech at the municipal building, which was decked out with Turkish
flags. In his speech, Topbaş stated how pleased he was to be in New
York and to have met with Brooklyn Mayor Markowitz.

Topbaş came to New York in his capacity as  head of the United
Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) organization and will also
have various meetings at the United Nations. Markowitz began his
remarks in Turkish, saying to Topbaş 'Merhaba arkadaşlar, Brooklyn'e
hoş geldiniz, şeref verdiniz. Mutluyuz.' (Hello friends, welcome to
Brooklyn, you honor us. We're happy.'

Markowitz noted that Istanbul is located at the juncture of two
continents and with over 12 million residents it is one of the world's
biggest cities. He said 'Istanbul, like Turkey, represents a model
for the world, joining east and west.'  Pointing out that Topbaş is
one month older than him, Markowitz addressed him as 'ağabey'
(older brother) and concluded his remarks with the words 'Ne
Mutlu Türküm diyene.' (How Happy is One Who Says I Am a


Well Eats Its Own

well (links to original article)

(Sözcü Newspaper, 9 February 2011)

Mustafa Küçük, a 47 year-old livestock farmer living in Yatağan
district of Muğla province, lost his life when a rock fell on his head
at the bottom of a six meter-deep well he had dug himself in a search
for water.

Küçük, married and the father of three children, raised livestock
on a field located at Aşağıova site. Yesterday (Sunday) around noon
he descended into the well he began to dig three months ago and
which had reached a depth of six meters. Küçük was digging a
new arm of the well, parallel to the base of it, and had progressed
three meters when he was killed by a rock that fell on his head.

Küçük's brother Mehmet Küçük (37) became concerned when his
brother did not return by evening to his home in the Dere neighbor-
hood. Not finding Mustafa either at home or at the animal pens,
Mehmet went to the well his brother had dug and was confronted
with the lifeless body of his older brother inside the well.  It took
two hours to extract Mustafa's body from the well.

After an investigation by the police and the public prosecutor
Mustafa's body was taken to the Yatağan State Hospital and then
sent to the Izmir Forensic Medical Facility for a definite determina-
tion of the cause of death. The investigation related to the incident
is ongoing.

9 Şubat 2011 Çarşamba

No Buddhist Son for this Guy!

buddhist (links to original article)

(Habertürk Newspaper, 8 February 2011)

Travel-lover Yalçın Özbingöl (50) met Pitsinee Seetheethvaron
during a trip to Thailand four years ago and the two began a
relationship that resulted in the young lady coming to Turkey and
becoming pregnant by Özbingöl.

Özbingöl, however, wanted Pitsinee to have an abortion but the
young woman refused, citing her beliefs, and gave birth to a male
child in her own country in 2007. Özbingöl went to see the baby
for periods ranging from two weeks to two months but he wasn't
allowed to hold the child even once.

Özbingöl then told Pitsinee that he didn't have long to live and
wanted to see his son one last time. He invited Pitsinee to bring
the baby with her to Istanbul which she did, arriving at Özbingöl's
home in Üsküdar on 22 May 2008. Pitsinee claims that while
she was in the bath at Özbingöl's home he abducted the child.

The mother then reported the incident to police and the Thai
embassy. Pitsinee retained a lawyer right away and wrote letters
to the President, Prime Minister and the head of the Turkish
Parliament, asking for help. One month later, Özbingöl emerged
and said in a statement to police that 'the child's mother couldn't
take care of him so she left the child with me.' The Thai mother,
however, filed suit and obtained custody of her son.

Despite all of this, Özbingöl would not give up the child and filed
a custody suit in Adana Family Court, claiming that if he were to
give the child to its mother his son would be raised as a Buddhist.
Özbingöl lost the suit and as a last resort went to a higher court.
He lost there, as well. The child's Thai mother said that if Özbingöl
does not surrender the child she will take custody via the court
that seizes assets.

Slick Thieves Use Metro for Cover

robbers (links to original article)

Workers at a foreign exchange bureau on Inönü Boulevard in the Hatay
neighborhood of Izmir found the steel safe in pieces when they entered
the store yesterday morning. Based on a police investigation, it emerged
that the thieves had first put the building's alarm and telephone systems
out of commission. As a result, the entire apartment building's internet
line was cut.

The robbers were able to cut the steel bars on the windows at the rear
of the exchange bureau and enter inside. They then used an oxygen-
fueled torch to cut through the safe and make off with 100,000 dollars.
Police checked with apartment residents who said they heard a lot of
noise but attributed it to ongoing metro construction.  The thieves also
removed the hard disk in the computer that records  images from
security cameras.

//ed. note: last sentence appeared in print version but not internet

8 Şubat 2011 Salı

Siren Song of a Beauty Brings Ruin

ayekin (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 7 February 2011)

Ismail Ayekin (55), who lives in Antalya and who retired from a job
working at a prefabricated concrete firm, received a call on his cell
phone six months ago indicating that he should reply to '+359 code
number'. Ayekin did just that and reached a woman who said her
name was Nilay.

Nilay said that she had access to 250,000 Euros but could only get it
if she could go to a non-EU country.  Ayekin then sent amounts
ranging from 100 Euros to 1,500 Euros via Western Union to Nilay,
who said she lived in Bulgaria, so that she could come to Turkey.
Based on the woman's instructions, Ayekin sent a total of 30,000
Turkish Lira, which he raised by getting credit from four banks, selling
his car for 7,000 Turkish Liras, and borrowing 3,000 Turkish Liras
from an old army buddy and his elderly mother.  As Nilay had told
him to do, Ayekin sent the money in the name of one Svetla Sıderova.

When the cellphone number he had been calling the woman at was
shut off on Friday, 4 February, Ayekin realized that he had been
hoodwinked. The married father of a 20 year-old son had this to say:
'My friends said that I would be duped but since I'm in an emotional
vacuum these days I didn't want to believe it. Chatting with a young
girl and feeling close to her blinded me. Now I feel like a fool. Other
than the photograph she sent me, I'm empty-handed. She called and
I longed for her call. In our last conversation she wanted 550 Euros
for a plane ticket and I sent it to her. But then she shut off her phone
and there was no more communication.'

Ayekin said that he has begun to work as a driver to pay back the
debts to the bank and his friends. He added that his relationship with
his wife has suffered, as well.

Shampoo Charlatan Strikes Out

erdem (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 7 February 2011)

In Istanbul, Erdem Ü. knocked on the door of Zeytun G. in Gültepe
on 3 February and said 'I'm introducing a new shampoo. You have
a chance to win a prize.' Erdem Ü. entered Zeytun G.'s home and
showed her the shampoo. Then he took an envelope from his bag,
announcing 'you're very lucky! You've won a plasma TV and 5,200
Turkish Lira worth of gold. But in order to get your prizes you have
to give a deposit.' Hearing this, Zeytun G. took off the gold chain
and necklace around her neck and gave it to Erdem Ü., along with a

After Erdem Ü. disappeared with the gold Zeytun G. and her husband
reported the incident to the police. The Kağıthane police began an
effort to capture the charlatan, about whom there have been a number
of reports in recent days. After searching from street to street for
Erdem Ü., police learned that he had entered a house with the same
'shampoo' pretext. When the police came to the house in question,
Erdem Ü was shocked to see them. After being taken to the police
station, Erdum Ü. was brought before the duty judge and arrested.

1921: Atatürk and Osman's Grandfather

//ed. note: in a detour from our blog's usual fare, herewith a couple
of interesting historical items.//

(Habertürk Newspaper, 15 November 2009)

In a talk given at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, Prof. Dr. Heath
Lowry of Princeton University related the memoirs of American
journalist Clarence Streit who conducted an interview with Atatürk
on 3 March 1921, in the period when he was head of the TBMM and
the government. Lowry related Streit's rememberance as follows:

'When I arrived in Ankara it had not yet been declared the capital. He
received me with Turkish hospitality. For two hours he spoke French
comfortably. He is a handsome and good-looking man. He dresses
very well and speaks well, too. He's 40 years old but looks younger.
There is the look in his eyes of an idealist who has realized his dreams.
There's no trace of showiness in either his life-style or his leadership,
nor any conceit. After the interview I got to know the nation he so
passionately believes in. Atatürk could be seen walking in Ankara,
joking with people, speaking with them warmly. I saw that the
accusations in the West that Atatürk is a dictator did not reflect the

'With his broad forehead and the cut of his mouth and chin he has the
lines of a warrior but without his fur cap and when wearing glasses
he gives the impression of a professor.'


(Habertürk Newspaper, 7 February 2011)

For the past 90 years, the lone piece of Turkish territory outside
Turkey in another country has been the 2.5 acre site containing the
tomb of Süleyman Shah, grandfather of Osman Gazi who gave
his name to the Ottoman Empire. The tomb is located in Aleppo,
along the shore of the Euphrates River.

Turkish soldiers protect the site, where the Turkish flag waves
and a statue of Atatürk sits, along with the words 'How Lucky is
He Who Says I am a Turk.' The land upon which the tomb rests
was accepted as Turkish territory by the Ankara Agreement
signed with France in 1921. The tomb has been moved twice
because of dam construction.

7 Şubat 2011 Pazartesi

Separate but Equally Fun Sites

(Habertürk Newspaper, 6 February 2011)

In Şanlıurfa, the home province of singer Ibrahim Tatlıses, who famously
asked  sarcastically 'there's an Oxford in Urfa that I didn't go to?',
there may not be an Oxford but there is now a disco.

The disco, named 'Switch Club' //no kidding//, has opened in the
basement of an office building but does not allow women. The male
patrons, however, are checking out the place and dancing to the
invigorating songs played.  Manager Mustafa Avşar explained that
'we didn't have such a place in our town so we decided to open this
disco-bar. We wanted to add some color to Şanlıurfa's nights and to
make a  contribution to our city's development.'

The surprise guest at the opening was Murat Başaran and the guests
thoroughly enjoyed themselves to the sound of his songs.

Meanwhile, in Akşehir, a gaming coffehouse opened a week ago with
a sign on the door which reads 'Men Forbidden to Enter'. Manager
Zübeyde Sürmeli explained that 'I opened this place with my husband's
blessing. Our place has everything, customers can drink coffee and tea
while they chat, play 'okey' or backgammon. Everyone who comes is
quite pleased.'

Sürmeli, who as a woman prizes cleanliness highly, greets her customers
with a smiling face. She said that 'I opened this place in our neighborhood
so women can come in their sweats if they want, just like they would if
visiting a neighbor.' Sürmeli said that it's important for women to be able
to leave the stresses of home, even if only for five minutes, and she added
that she is planning special events days for the women.

Argument-Fight-Blood Feud-Aftermath

(Sabah Newspaper, 6 February 2011)

An argument over a girl erupted between youths after the wedding
of Ibrahim Kaplan and Emine Kaplan in Siirt on 17 October 2010.
The argument quickly turned into a fight and two family elders, Mehmet
Can Tetik and Mehmet Şirin Tetik, died and three members of the
same family were injured.

After the fight, eight members of the Ete family were arrested and
three people fled the country. The homes of the Ete family members
who had committed the murders were set afire. The fight then trans-
formed into a full-fledged blood feud and 11 families, comprising
21 women, 18 men and 59 children, fled to their relatives living in
Bismil district of Diyarbakır province.

These 98 people then began a struggle to live in Bismil, where the
district chief has provided them with five tents, 200 blankets, five
tons of coal and food aid. But since the food aid has run out the
migrants, who are spending the winter in tents, are now experiencing
both food and clothing shortages.

Silver-Tounged 'Captain' Gets Hooked

(Sabah Newspaper, 5 February 2011)

Ömer A. has been arrested in Gaziantep by the Provincial Security
Directorate's Pickpockets and Fraud team. Identifying himself
variously as an intelligence captain, an aircraft pilot captain or a staff
captain, Ömer A. has been touring various provinces promising to
marry young girls or to find jobs for the unemployed in military units.

Ömer A. defrauded a woman named Sevcan Ç. of 60,000 Turkish
Liras when he promised to wed her; had health worker Cenk A.
buy him 710 Turkish Liras worth of goods on his credit card;
and got Yunus M., who works in a health center, to buy him a
camera and a cellphone valued at 500 Turkish Liras.

Already wanted for fraud and bankruptcy crimes, Ömer A. was
transfered to jail after judicial proceedings at the security bureau.

Traffic Drives Some to Extremes

trafik (links to original article)

(Sabah Newspaper, 6 February 2011)

The proportion of arrests of people who use police-style hood lamps
and sirens to give themselves a leg up in Istanbul's traffic has risen by
84 percent in a year. In 2009, some 3,187 drivers were fined for using
such warning devices improperly and the number of fined drivers rose
to 5,876 in 2010.  According to figures released by the Istanbul Security
Directorate, the total amount of the fines was 210,342 Turkish Liras in
2009 and 581,724 Turkish Liras in 2010.

Among those who used the hood lamps and sirens illegally were
politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats. The cost of mounting such
a device is about 100 Turkish Liras but the fine is only 66 Turkish
Liras. Four years ago, eight people in three vehicles riding in a convoy
with hood lamps blazing on the Bosphorus Bride were taken into
custody. Based on this incident, police were lead to the 'Aslanlı Gang',
which provided the devices.

Ancient İnscription is Headache for Villager

yalçın kahya (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 6 February 2011)

Yalçın Kahya (38), who lives in Yeniköy village in Yumurtalık district
of Adana province, has a big, big problem and he's losing sleep over it.
His anxiety stems from an ancient inscription on a block in the wall in
his stable that has been consigned under his name. He's worried that it
may be damaged or stolen.

//ed. note: based on the photo accompanying the report, the writing
on the inscription appears to be either Latin or Greek.//

The inscription block had been part of a wall along the village road.
When the wall was taken down twenty years ago, the inscription block
was used in the construction of the stable so that it would be preserved,
at least in some way.  But when news of the inscription appeared in
newspapers in 2009 everything changed for Yalçın Kahya.

The Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate sent an investigative
team and the inscription block was registered under Kahya's name,
witnessed by the village head man. Kahya, however, is not pleased
and said 'I want this inscription block taken from here right away and
removed from my registration. I don't want to take responsibility for

Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Osman Arık, though, stated
that many such historical treasures are registered in this manner for
protection. He added that 'it's not possible to remove the block and
so we therefore have to register it to the person who owns the property.'
Nevertheless, Arık declared that if Kahya is willing, the inscription
block can be removed and taken to a museum.

Police Say Trumpet Player Off-Key

trumpet (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 4 February 2011)

Acting on a 'tip', police took trumpet player Onurcan Çağatay (24)
into custody at the opening gala for TRT School Television, attended
by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan. Cağatay, who plays the trumpet
as a member of the Eskişehir Anatolian Symphony Orchestra, was
released after five hours of interrogation.

Cağatay had come to Ankara on 30 January and practiced with his
colleagues before heading for the MEB concert hall for the opening gala
the next night.  The bus carrying the orchestra members was stopped
by police at 17:40 hours and identity cards were checked. At this
point, police informed Çağatay that 'there's a tip about you' and took
him to the Anti-Terrorism Bureau for five hours of questioning.

Çağatay was released and then explained to the press what had
happened: 'I've participated in competitions in many countries under
the sponsorship of the Ministry of Culture. I won second place in the
world in the U.S. and I was third in Turkey. Besides these, I've won
many awards. When I was taken into custody the police said that
a classmate of mine had informed on me. But I'm not a student. In
the record of the 'tip' it says that the tip call was made from phone
number '11 22 33'. They know as well as I do that there is no such

Continuing, Çağatay said 'I have no criminal record whatsoever. A
month ago I became a member of the Turkey Youth Union (TGB)
via the internet. I was one of those who went to Erzurum to protest
against Prime Minister Erdoğan. When we went to Erzurum the police
made a record of our names. This is why they took me into custody.'

6 Şubat 2011 Pazar

I Shop or I Drop

(Habertürk Newspaper, 4 February 2011)

Koç University student D.T. who lives with her family in Istanbul
asked her older brother K.T. for money the night before last. K.T.
gave his sister 100 Turkish Lira but D.T. found the sum insufficient
and argued with her brother. D.T. went to her room, locked the
door and opened her window in the fifth-floor apartment, threatening
to jump. Police came to the scene and tried to talk D.T. down but
ultimately broke down the door and retrieved the young woman from
the window ledge.

Sweet Tooth Thief Looking at 12 Years

(Habertürk Newspaper, 4 February 2011)

Zeki Çakmak (18), who was seen on security cameras stealing four
trays of baklava from a sweets store has been charged by the public
prosecutor with the crime of 'intentionally violating the sovereignty of
a dwelling, theft and damage to property', which carries a penalty of
12 years and 6 months.

Çakmak said he stole the baklava because he needed money to pay
for his registration at the Open Education High School in Adana.
Explaining further Çakmak said 'I sold the sweets and registered for
school. I've reformed. I won't steal again.' and asked for his release.

5 Şubat 2011 Cumartesi

Sir Nicolas: Wheels Up!

(Habertürk Newspaper, 4 February 2011)

Hollywood star Nicolas Cage, who has been in Pamukkale for a
week filming the final scene for the film 'Ghostrider Two', has
departed from Denizli. In a statement, Çardak Airport Director
Soner Tuğrul announced that Cage had left yesterday morning
aboard a private plane that had come from Greece to pick him up.
The famous star, together with his wife and children, went to

In this connection, the governor of Denizli province,Yavuz Erkmen,
stated that the Ghostrider Two film will be very beneficial for publicity
and he added that 'having the film shot partly in Denizli will have an
important effect on making us known. The movie will open this
year or early next year and when it does, many more people
will know about Pamukkale.'

The final scenes of Ghostrider Two, staring Oscar-winning actor
Nicolas Cage in the lead role, has been filmed in Pamukkale over
the past week.

4 Şubat 2011 Cuma

Sir Nicolas to Extras: Let Them Eat Frost

(Habertürk Newspaper, 3 February 2011)

//ed. note: the following item is part of our blog's attempt to track the
visit to Turkey of His Royal Highness Sir Nicolas Cage for the
filming of his next blockbuster movie 'Ghostrider Two' (like we
needed the first one.) Sir Nicolas is staying in a specially-built-for-
him 'King's Suite' at a hotel in Denizli, although he declined to tread
upon the red carpet laid out for him on his arrival. Sir Nicolas
received Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at his
specially-built-for-him 'King's Suite' last week. (and we wonder
why movies go over budget...)//

The extras hired for the film 'Ghostrider Two' starring world-famous
actor Nicolas Cage have abandoned the set of the movie's final
scene, staged in the antique theater at Denizli's 'white wonderland'
Pamukkale.  Habertürk's correspondant Hacı Selamoğlu personally
entered the set after being hired as an extra to circumvent the ban
on journalists. The directors and acencies involved with the film had
hired 150 extras, 30 of them women, paying them between 40 and
80 Turkish Liras per day.

But after waiting for six hours in freezing weather 60 of the extras
fled. Together with the burden of the cold, the extras were made to
use just one toilet among themselves. The extras had waited for five
hours for their 'saints' costumes and were then taken to tents to wait
some more. At 7 PM filming began in the antique theater where the
extras chanted at a 'mass' in the freezing cold. Wearing sandals, light
shirts and suits and ties, the extras waited shivering for hours repeating
the chants '23 Nisan kutlu olsun! (May the 23 April holiday be fortuitous!)
and '1,2,3,4'. //ed note: not further explained but evidently integral to the
mystical Ghostrider Two scenario//

During the first take 20 extras left the freezing-cod set, after the second
take another 10 left and after the third take only 90 extras remained.
Cast Director Ebru Bayburtlu and other officials on the set tried
mightily to persuade the extras to stay on but as the hours passed and
the filming wasn't concluded the extras pleaded to be released. Set
officials turned a deaf ear to these requests though, leaving the extras
with no choice but to walk off the set. In total, about 60 extras said
they would not come back. Filming is to be finished today.

Sweet Tooth Thief

(Haberturk Newspaper, 3 February 2011)

In Adana, Kenan Erdemir who sells sweets, opened his store the
day before yesterday and noticed that ten trays of baklava were
missing. The police came and reviewed video from the store's
security camera, determining that the baklava thief was Zeki Ç.,
who had been arrested ten times for burglary.

The video showed that Zeki Ç. first checked the store's draws
for money and finding none set his sights on the baklava. Zeki Ç.
was seen in the video putting the ten baklava trays on the counter
and then passing them outside through a window. He was arrested
at his home and taken into custody.

Ladies Day in Antalya

(Hürriyet and Sözcü Newspapers, 2 February 2011)

In Antalya, nurse Emine Şenbak was attacked by a masher as she
was entering her car. She told her assailant that her pocktbook was
inside the car. Şenbak then pretended to reach for her bag as she
braced herself against the steering wheel and kicked her attacker.
Shaken by the unexpected blow, the thief ran away.

Meanwhile, in Antalya's Muratpaşa district, two men wearing suits
rang the doorbell of housewife Selma Gül (28) on the evening of
24 January identifying themselves as family doctors. The two men
then injected the young woman with what they said was a tetnus
shot but which was actually a sleep-inducing substance. They pro-
ceeded to steal jewelry and a laptop computer from the woman's

Selma Gül's two year-old daughter roused her, whereupon Gül
informed police of the incident. Yesterday, police received a report
of a man wearing a suit ringing doorbells in the Güzeloba neighborhood.
Shortly thereafter police apprehended 40 year-old Mehmet Ö. who
was carrying a black bag and medical supplies. Mehmet Ö. decried
his arrest, stating 'Am I a thief? I'm selling health goods. I have a
document from the Health Ministry authorizing me to sell from door
to door.'

Yet another report to police in the same neighborhood lead to the
arrest of Idris I. (33) and both he and Mehmet Ö. were identified
by Selma Gül and her neighbors. The two suspects were taken to
the court house.

Uh Minister, About Your Car...

(Haberturk Newspaper, 2 February 2011)

The vehicle used by the bodyguards of State Minister Selma Aliye
Kavaf was stolen when the key was left in the ignition. The police
have launched an effort to track down the car and the thief, who
wore a beret and a scarf to cover his head.

The grey-colored car used by Minister Kavaf's protective team,
bearing license plate number 06 AH 1641, was parked in front of
a jewelry store on Mamak Medical Faculty Avenue the day before
yesterday. The driver went into the store to pay a bill but left the
key in the ignition. An opportunistic thief promptly stole the car.

2 Şubat 2011 Çarşamba

Limits to Bravery

(Sözcü and Haberturk Newspapers, 1 February 2011)

Bekir Bakır, the 'unknown hero', saved three people in a burning
building in Mersin in August but he had no such valiant sentiments
for his wife more recently.

During the fire on 15 August on the fourth floor of an apartment
building in Mersin, Bakır had grabbed a flashlight from firemen
and rushed in to save 10-month old Güneş baby and retiree Mehmet
Erol (60) and his wife Funda Erol.

A few days ago, however, Bakır (26) went to the home of the father
of his wife Filiz (24) in Gaziantep in a rage. Filiz had fled there after
an argument with Bakır and then refused Bakır's reconciliation
proposal.  Bakır ran over Filiz with his car and fled. The mother
of his two children was taken to the hospital for treatment while
police set out to capture Bakır.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident in Bolu, Abdullah Gergen (33)
climbed to the top of a light pole at the local stadium, claiming
that he was penniless and would commit suicide. After 45 minutes,
however, the father of three found it much too cold atop the 15-
meter pole and came down.

Eggplant Shoe Print is Robbers' Downfall

(Haberturk Newspaper, 1 February 2011)

Four persons who robbed a shopping center in Kızıltpe district
of Mardin province were caught thanks to a shoe print left by one
of the suspects on an eggplant. The suspect stepped on the eggplant,
which had fallen from a nearby fruit and  vegetable stand, during
the robbery.

As the suspects made their escape police began an investigation,
in the course of which they noticed the shoe print on two of the
fallen eggplants. Together with the security camera video of the
robbery. police were able to capture suspects E.K., S.K., C.K.
and M.S. who were then taken off to jail.

1 Şubat 2011 Salı

Who's on First? Tale of Two Mustafa's

(Haberturk Newspaper, 29 January 2011)

In Korkuteli district of Antalya province, Kezban K. (22) and her
boyfriend Salih O. (26) ran away and got married on 26 December
2010 after Kezban's family refused to sanction the marriage.
Kezban's father Ahmet K. (50) was angered by his daughter's
action and, thinking that Salih's uncle Mustafa O. had helped the
two lovers flee, Ahmet K. abducted Mustafa O.'s 15 year-old
daughter A.O., planning to marry her off to his son, Mustafa K.

On 31 December Ahmet K., together with his son Mustafa K.
and one Arif B., followed A.O.'s school bus and when she
alighted in front of her high school in Korkuteli they grabbed
her and dragged her into Ahmet K.'s car. Witnesses alerted the
police to the kidnapping and the suspects' car was later found
abandoned at the Korkuteli district border.

On the night of 2 January, A.O. called her father Mustafa O.
on her cellphone to say that she was willing to marry Mustafa K.
A.O. pleaded with her father to refrain from hunting her down
'from mountain to mountain', and asked him to withdraw his
complaint about Mustafa K. so they could return to Korkuteli.

The police had no luck tracking down the suspects and A.O.
but shortly afterwards police did nab Arif B., who admitted
that Mustafa K. had kidnapped A.O. in order to marry her
but claimed that he didn't know where they were. Arif B. was

A few days ago, Ahmet K. and Mustafa K. dropped off A.O.
at a spot near downtown Korkuteli and disappeared. A.O.
then explained that she had been forcibly held in a stable and
in an abandoned house in a valley. She stated that on the day
of her kidnapping Mustafa K. had raped her. A.O. said that
she had been pressued to call her father and forced to talk on
the phone.

Psychological help for rape victim A.O. has begun but Mustafa O.
asserted that even though A.O. had been raped by Mustafa K. he
would not give permission for them to marry. Mustafa O. renewed
his legal complaint against the abductors.