fortune (links to original article)
(Sabah Newspaper, 29 April 2011)
The high court has decided the crime of 'threatening' rather than 'looting'
should be the charge for six people who kidnapped a fortune teller to the
mountains, beat her, forcibly had her sign money transfers and stripped
her, because she had hoodwinked them and taken their money. The
local court had sentenced the six to 7.5 years each for 'looting' but the
high court changed the sentence concerning the incident in Çorum,
which had the feel of a Candid Camera prank.
According to claims, M.G. asked M.H., who works as a fortune teller
in her husband's cafe, to help him with a treasure hunt. M.G., along
with his friend O.A., then took M.H. to an empty field and asked her
to locate the treasure here. M.H., however, responded by saying that
'there's a charm here and you need six people to break it.' She next
informed them that 'I must get material from Istanbul.' and proceeded
to take 500 lira and two cellphones from M.G., E.Ç. and O.A.
The treasure hunters excavated the area that M.H. had designated for
a while but when no treasure was found M.H. claimed that P.Ç., one
of the treasure hunters, had lost his belief so the charm had taken
hold once again. She said she had to go to Istanbul again to get more
material and after getting 580 lira and four cellphones M.H. set out
M.H. pawned the cellphones in Istanbul for 1,500 lira and then called
M.G., saying that she needed the same amount of money, which M.G.
sent to her via the post office. M.H. did not return to Çorum, however,
so M.G. and O.A. went to Istanbul and found her. When M.H. asked
them for more money for the charm material they realized they had been
The six treasure hunters took M.H. to a rock quarry upon her return
to Çorum and bound her hands and legs. The suspects beat M.H.
when she said she had spent all their money and had her sign a promisory
note. M.H. was left naked at the quarry and subsequently filed a suit
against the treasure hunters. The Çorum Penal Court sentenced the
suspects to 12 years in jail for the crime of 'looting' but the sentences
were reduced to 7 years 6 months each. The high court, though, said
that the local court had misidentified the crime and that the sentences
should be given for 'threatening' rather than 'looting'. Consequently,
the suspects will get no more than 5 year sentences.
M.G. who was put in jail for beating M.H. and having her sign promisory
notes after she duped them in connection with the treasure search, said
that 'we were hoodwinked and put in jail. M.H. is a presentable woman
with great powers of persuasion. She dresses well. Telling me and my
friends that she needed material, she took a total of five or six thousand
liras from us at various times. Some of us sold our cellphones to give
this person money.'