30 Aralık 2011 Cuma

Santa's Honor in Question

santa links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 29 December 2011)

An investigation has been initiated concerning the müftü (religious affairs
chief of a district) of Keşan district, Süleyman Yeniçeri, who said the
following: 'There's no Santa Claus. There's a St. Nicholas but he's made-up.
Santa Claus enters a house through the chimney or the window. But an
honorable person comes in through the front door.' The Religious Affairs
Ministry has ordered the Edirne provincial müftü's office to investigate
the matter and a decision concerning Yeniçeri will be made based on the
inspector's report.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Demre, Süleyman Topçu, has sent a message
to the müftü, saying 'I'm inviting the müftü to our district so I can tell
him about the history related to St. Nicholas, who was a real person.'
Topçu added that 'St. Nicholas was the child of a well-to-do family. He
would throw gifts down the chimney or through the window without
letting on who had given them. I wonder if the müftü who says that
St. Nicholas wasn't honorable is himself honorable.'

The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ertuğrul Günay, made the
following comment about the Keşan müftü while he was in Antalya:
'One of our friends has spoken about something that is beyond his ken.
There's an old saying in Anatolia 'don't bother with fools, pay heed to
the scholars' (or something to that effect). He (Yeniçeri) did something
on his own. The person known the world over as Santa Claus was born
in Patara and lived in Myra and Demre. There is information that he
was St. Nicholas. We don't want to diminish this knowledge because it
plays a role in acquainting people with our country.'

28 Aralık 2011 Çarşamba

Lady Doctor Proves Retiree's Manhood

man links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 27 December 2011)

Ayçin Özkan had to take care of some matters four years ago at a few
state offices when he noticed that his name was spelled 'Ayşin' on official
documents. Changing the name would require him to file a suit but
officials suggested a shortcut - they issued him an identity card under the
name 'Ayşin Özkan'.

However, his problems knew no end because of the name 'Ayşin' so
Özkan again went to the Fatih (Istanbul) Population Directorate on
20 September 2011, asking to have his name changed. But the official
there noted that the name wasn't the only problem - his sex was listed
as 'female' because of the name 'Ayşin'. According to the Population
Directorate, his name was Ayşin Özkan and he was a 'she'.

Özkan's only recourse was to file a suit and convince the judge that
he was 'Ayçin' and he was a man. Accordingly, Ayçin Özkan filed
suit on 23 November against the Population Affairs General Directorate
at the 10th Court of First Instance in Bakırköy.

Özkan, who gets a retirement salary of 850TL per month, paid 176TL
for the suit in order to get his name and sex straightened out. The court
sent Özkan to the Bakırköy Dr. Sadi Konuk Training and Research
Hospital for a physical examination and he received a report attesting
to his manhood. Summing things up Özkan said 'I was forced to undergo
an physical exam by a woman doctor the age of my grandchild. I was
so embarrassed. I can't find the word to explain what I've been through.'

Bloody Cost of Junior's British Education

junior links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 27 December 2011)

In Kireçburbu (Istanbul) the case of the torture and murder of Ali Server
Yıldız, the driver for architect Mehmet Ali Barman who owns a 4-story
mansion on the Bosporus, has not progressed in two years. Yıldız was
killed because he told someone that Barman would be murdered for money.

Those being tried for Yıldız's murder, Barman's nursemaid Ayten Şafak
(25), whose nickname is 'thousand and one faces', and her partner in crime
Tamer Kapucu (44), claim that fashion designer Sedef Akgül ordered the
murder. At the latest hearing on 23 December at the 1st Serious Crimes
Court in Üsküdar, Kapucu claimed that 'Sedef had us commit this crime
so she could educate her son in England. Her nephew is the security
chief so that's why she hasn't been arrested.'  Ayten Şafak stated that
'Sedef told me 'you don't have a record. When you get caught say that
Tamer committed the crime. He's got a record.' She tipped off the
Gendarmerie and fled. She arranged the crime.'

The hearing was postponed after the arrest warrant for Sedef Akgül,
who has been sought for two years, was renewed.

26 Aralık 2011 Pazartesi

Puppy Love Blinds Thief in Samsun

puppies links to original article

(Samsun News, 22 December 2011)

A person who entered the home of the General Director of the British-
American Tobacco Company factory in Samsun threatened the chief's
wife, Mogrietha Maria Eloff, with a starters pistol and robbed her of
750TL in her handbag.

The suspect, however, stopped to pick up two puppies that chased
him as he escaped and returned them to the surprised woman who
thanked the thief. It was determined that the suspect works as a welder
in the same factory and he was arrested by police.

The incident took place in Samsun's Atakum district on 20 December.
Ufuk Bozdemir (23), a factory worker, had gone to the General Director's
triplex villa in Atakum to work on home repairs but returned a few days
later, covering his face with a scarf and wearing gloves. He then knocked
on the door of the house where Mogrietha Maria Eloff was home alone.
Bozdemir threatened her with the pistol, took 750TL from her handbag
and fled.

While escaping two 'golden' puppies in the garden chased after Bozdemir.
Eloff also came out into the garden at this time as Bozdemir picked up
the puppies and returned them to Eloff who, in a state of surprise,
thanked Bozdemir.

Bozdemir was picked up by police in Bafra district last night. In his
statement he said that 'I owe 4,000TL on my credit card so that's why
I did this. I regret it. When I saw the puppies coming after me I stopped
and picked them up. I was going to put them down there but I saw the
woman in the garden and gave them to her. She thanked me.'

Bozdemir was taken to the acting court and then to jail.

25 Aralık 2011 Pazar

Turks Foresaw 'Occupy' Two Years Ago

foresight links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 24 December 2011)

Literature teacher H. Gümrah Eralp (29) and English teacher A. Tahsin
Ertaş, both of Bursa, displayed magnificent foresight when they wrote
two years ago in their book about the unemployment protests in the U.S.
and they were hightlighted on the front page of Sabah Newspaper.

Hollywood producers are knocking on the pair's doors in order to make
a film of the novel, entitled 'Provocateur, The Day of No Money', which
pointed out that money is the world's biggest problem and explained
how the world would be saved. The book the two wrote two years ago
was published in February 2011 and the 'Occupy Wall Street' protests,
near Wall Street where the New York Stock Exchange is located, began
in September.

The two authors said that two Turkish producers in Hollywood, Semih
Eren and Ifakat Bak, saw the article in Sabah and got in contact with them,
explaining that 'after they read a summary they said that the story was
quite good and that it should be made into a film. Right now we're talking
with Warner Brothers, one of Hollywood's biggest film studios. It will
all become clear soon and if there's a film let's have Al Pacino play the role
of the hero.'

The hero of the book 'Provocateur, The Day of No Money' is Vedat
Warrington, the well-educated son of an American father and a Turkish
physicist mother. Vedat goes to New York, the money capital of the
world, gathers together young people and the unemployed and incites
street protests. The marches and slogans of 'Occupy Wall Street' are
even the same ones in the book. The protestors in the book occupy the
Brooklyn Bridge, just like in real life, and the protest's headquarters is
Manhattan, a photograph of which is on the book's cover.

Rough Landing, Mutual Sobriety Tests

drunk links to original article

(Haber Apron Webnews, 20 December 2011)

An Onur Air flight from Istanbul to Diyarbakır was directed to land at
Şanlıurfa's GAP Urfa Airport because of heavy fog and made a rough
landing. Both the passengers and the pilot were taken to the police

According to claims, the incident that put the passengers and the pilot
in jail happened this way: The Onur Air flight left Istanbul last night at
18:45 with more than 220 passengers en route to Diyarbakır. But because
of heavy fog at Diyarbakır the plane was re-directed to Şanlıurfa GAP

The rough landing at Şanlıurfa, despite the weather being clear, caused
the passengers and crew to argue. The passengers demanded that the
State Airport Authority (DHMI)'s acting chief test the pilots for
alcohol and DHMI headquarters was duly informed. Not satisfied with
this result, the passengers went to the Airport Security Directorate
and requested an alcohol test.

Based on instructions from the prosecutor, police then invited the
pilot and co-pilot to come to the police station but the pilots said
they couldn't leave the airplane. The alcohol test was administered
on the plane after the pilots discussed the matter with Onur Air officials.

The passengers who had complained about the pilots were about ready
to head to Diyarbakır when the pilots counterattacked. The pilot,
a Greek named Merkeouris Spanas and the co-pilot, Volkan Özseyhan,
both of whom wouldn't leave the plane for the alcohol test, went to
the Airport Security Directorate and filed a complaint against the
passengers, saying that 'they had put flight safety in jeopardy.'

The passengers who complained were then subjected to an alcohol
test, at the behest of the prosecutor. The acting security chief pointed
to the complaining passengers and asked a flight attendant 'which one
put the flight in jeopardy?' but the flight attendant couldn't identify

Neither the pilots nor the passengers were found to be drunk but
the passengers did not ultimately reach Diyarbakır untıl 03:30 in
the morning.

22 Aralık 2011 Perşembe

FBI Gets Their Man at Soup Shop in Adana

soup links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 21 December 2011)

Businessman Metin Atılan (51) was put under house arrest in Las Vegas
three years ago on the charge of trying to bribe an FBI agent. He escaped
by cutting the electronic bracelet on his arm but he has been found at a
soup shop in Adana.

Atılan has been on the 'most wanted' list of the international police
organization Interpol. After managing a restaurant at Incirlik Air Base in
Adana Atılan went to Las Vegas to work as a contractor where he
allegedly got millions of dollars of work by giving bribes. The FBI put
Atılan under surveillance.

According to claims, Atılan's wife A. Atılan gave a military officer in
charge of letting purchasing contracts a bribe of 4,966 USD. She also
tried to bribe FBI agent Eric J. Miller. On 5 February 2008, FBI agents
met with Metin Atılan in London, posing as US military contract officers.
Ten million dollars worth of work was agreed upon for a bribe of one
million dollars and Atılan gave them 30,000 USD in cash then and there.

Atılan was arrested after this incident but in May 2008 while under house
arrest in Las Vegas he cut the electronic tracking bracelet on his arm
and escaped. An arrest warrant was issued by the Colorado Attorney
General for Atılan, who had returned to Turkey. Teams from the Seyhan
District Security Directorate learned that Atılan was having tripe soup at
a soup shop in Adana and captured him. Metin Atılan will be returned to
the U.S.

Crane Pirate Extorts Ransom

crane links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 21 December 2011)

Bayram Saçıkara, also known as 'Crane Bayram', scales cranes in Ankara
and Istanbul and extorts money from companies by threatening 'if you
don't give me money I won't come down!' The day before yesterday he
took the stage in Istanbul. Up to now Saçıkara has climbed 15 cranes and
come down only after getting 5,000TL from each of the companies. This
time he went up the tallest crane at an office building construction site in
Istanbul and after getting 15,000TL deposited in his bank account he
descended and was taken into custody.

Previously, Saçıkara had climbed a crane near the Prime Minister's office
(in Ankara) and demanded to speak with the Prime Minister (Erdoğan).
Through the intercession of then-Foreign Minister and current President
Abdullah Gül, Saçıkara, the father of three children, was persuaded to
come down.  The day before yesterday he showed up in Levent, Istanbul.

Taking advantage of a security lapse, he climbed up the 75-meter crane
at the Özdilek fırm's construction site. The workers noticed him and
thought at first that it was a suicide attempt. Shortly afterwards the
matter was understood when Saçıkara demanded a ransom, saying 'if
you don't pay me 35,000TL I won't come down from the crane and
you can't do any work.' Saçıkara occupied the crane's cabin, drinking
water and eating field rations. Company officials immediately cut off
electricity from the crane and when Saçıkara began to get cold he asked
for an overcoat via radio.

In consideration of the fact that the crane rental costs 5,000TL per
hour and the loss of the laborers' work time, officials first offered
Saçıkara a job at the site and then 5,000TL but he refused. Police,
firefighters and medical crews followed the hostage situation all day
long both inside and outside the construction site. At the end of 10
hours Saçıkara agreed to accept 15,000TL to release the crane. After
the money was deposited in his account he came down and was taken
into custody by police.

Company officials filed a complaint, saying that their work had been
uspset because of Saçıkara's action and that they suffered 50,000TL
in damages. Saçıkara was taken to court on charges of making threats
and attempted suicide and released. The company will file a suit against
Saçıkara to recover its losses. The bank has asked for a court order
to return the money deposited in Saçıkara's account to the company.

21 Aralık 2011 Çarşamba

Referee Blows Whistle on Thieves

field links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 19 December 2011)

Istanbul police set up an operation while a robbery gang was having a
football match. When a policeman wearing the referee's uniform blew
his whistle during the match and said 'everyone lie down!' the operation
began and police arrested nine members of the gang.

The police had acted after an increase in cigarette robberies at grocery
stores in Istanbul neighborhoods. The nine-person gang entered stores
with the pretext that they were seeking help for anemic children and
instead stole cigarettes. After three months of surveillance police got a
tip that the thieves planned to have a football match last Wednesday at
a field in Şişli.

Taking strict security measures around the pitch, a policeman in the
guise of a referee took the field to determine whether or not the thieves
had come to the scene. The match then began with two sides of six
players each, none of them realizing that the referee was a policeman
from Istanbul Security.

At the 35th minute of the match, which was hard-fought and the score
3-2, the referee blew his whistle and told everyone to lie down. The
players didn't understand what was happening and were shocked to
see the police come on the field. Of the players lying on the field,
Selçuk K. (30), Nihat Ş.(29), Gencay T.(30), Murat K.(32), Sinan K.
(30) and Aytekin S. (38) were taken into custody.

Also taken into custody were Ali S.(25), Nihal S. (54) and Dilek S.
(40), who had come to Istanbul for robbery, at their home in Bursa.
They were brought back to Istanbul. The suspects were charged with
64 counts of theft. They denied the charges when they gave statements
at the Istanbul Public Safety Pickpocket and Fraud Bureau but were
all transported to Çağlayan Jail.

Falsely Fingered But Still Jailed

finger links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 19 December 2011)

Taxi driver Ömer Tosun was stabbed in the heart on the night of 18
September 2010 by a passenger he picked up in Sultanbeyli, Istanbul.
Miraculously, Tosun survived and told police that 'I bit the hand of the
guy that stabbed me.' But this statement has meant trouble for Ismail Reis.

At the time that Tosun was knifed, Reis (26) was five kilometers away,
having crashed his car into a MOBESE (traffice surveillance system) pole.
Reis cut his pinky finger on a broken headlight and went to a hospital to
get stitches. Concurrently, acting on Tosun's statement that he had bitten
the hand of his attacker, police searched area hospitals for people who
may have gone there for stitches. Reis was taken into custody 13 days

Tosun said in his statement that his assailant was '19 years old, middle
height and dark skinned.' When he saw the hospital video images of Reis
he said 'there's the attacker' and Reis (26) was arrested. The case is being
tried in the 3rd Serious Crimes Court in Kartal, where a 20 year sentence
is being sought for Reis. The court has refused Reis's request that the
MOBESE camera images be examined. And even though it has been
determined that the blood found in the taxi of Tosun's assailant was not
that of Reis, Reis is still being held.

Reis has adamently requested that he be brought to the Forensic Medicine
Council for an examination of the cut on his hand and 10 months after his
incarceration he has been brought there. He is hopeful that a report will
come out that will prove his innocence.

See Cat in Dream, Beat Your Wife

dream links to original article

(Habertürk Newspaper, 20 December 2011)

Ö.Y. (36), the wife of businessman B.Y., a graduate of Galatasaray
University who lives in Fatih, Istanbul, complained to the police that her
husband beat her because of a dream he had. Ö.Y., a graduate of Istanbul
University, explained the situation as follows: 44-year old B.Y. argued
with his wife a while ago, saying that money had been stolen from a
locked box in the house and even accusing her of being the thief.

Ö.Y., the mother of six children, could not convince her husband of 17
years that she had not stolen the money. The other morning when B.Y.
woke up he told his wife that he had seen a cat in a dream. He then got
up, went to the bookcase and retrieved a book about interpreting dreams,
in which he found an explanation for the dream he had.

B.Y. said that seeing a cat in a dream means that the servant in the
house has stolen some money. He then attacked his wife who was still
in bed. Ö.Y. fled from the attack and filed a complaint with the police.
B.Y. was taken into custody and was released on the orders of the
prosecutor after giving a statement.

Cleopatra Beckons, He Swims 5 Miles

swim links to related article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 18 December 2011)

At 1500 hours yesterday the storm and rain that began in Muğla in the
morning was continuing. There was no word from the fishing boat 'Ay &
Su' (Moon & Water) that was caught in the storm in the open water of
the Gulf of Gökova.

The boat's owner, Mustafa Karakan, was, however, able to send a radio
message to the Coast Guard, saying 'I'm opposite Turnalı Bay. Save me!
The boat is sinking!' The Coast Guard, though, couldn't find Karakan,
who was later found on Cleopatra Island after having swum 5 miles to
get there.

18 Aralık 2011 Pazar

Camel Cameo - Must See Video

//ed. note: thanks to alert contributor Renan Snowden at UMinn. for this

camel links to original article and video

(Sabah Newspaper, 16 December 2011)

A Kanal Urfa TV team, based in Şanlıurfa, came under attack by a camel
while doing a program at the Harran historical site. The camel first
caressed the guests but then attacked the news director. The incident
was reflected in the camera second by second.

The interesting incident occurred today at Harran, which has the world's
oldest university and hosts many Turkish and foreign tourists. Kanal
Urfa anchorman Ekrem Demirbilek was doing a news program about
the historic Harran district and while chatting with citizens who had
come from other provinces a camel came up to one of the guests,
wanting some attention.

The guest became uncomfortable and tried to move away from the
camel, which, after failing to get affection from the guest, attacked
Kanal Urfa News Director Kadir Çelikan. After suffering the camel's
attack, Çelikan ran 10 meters, got into a vehicle and found safety.
The incident was caught on camera, second by second. The camel
was quieted by its owner and led away from the scene of the


Actor Takes Vengeful Show on the Road

actor links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 16 December 2011)

Movie actor and producer Ferhat Gündoğdu has been taken into custody
in Aksaray for allegedly beating his wife Zeynep Gündoğdu, who had
fled their home and gone to Adana. Gündoğdu was arrested en route to
Istanbul with Zeynep whose hands and feet were taped. Additionally,
three individuals who helped Gündoğdu were taken into custody.

Aksaray Provincial Security Directorate teams stopped a Jeep while
making routine traffic checks at the entrance to Aksaray, along the
Adana-Aksaray highway. The police heard a woman crying out 'Save
me! They're kidnapping me!' from inside the Jeep and when they
checked they found her with her hands and feet taped together. The
police rescued the woman and took the four persons in the car into

One of those arrested was Ferhat Gündoğdu (42), a film actor and
producer, and the woman involved is his wife Zeynep (34) who
had bruises on various parts of her body. She told police that her
husband and his cohorts had beaten and kidnapped her. Along
with Ferhat, Yıldırım I. (23), Ismet Y. (49) and Adem Y. (28)
were arrested and taken to jail.

In her statement, Zeynep explained that she had argued with her
husband and fled their home, seeking refuge with her relatives
in Adana. Subsequently, Ferhat and his men came and beat her,
then they taped her hands and feet and tried to take her back to

Zeynep was taken to Aksaray State Hospital for treatment
where it was determined that she had injuries to her face from
punches and her hands and legs from the tape.

//just who is this Ferhat Gündoğdu??//

ferhat links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 17 December 2011)

Actor-producer Ferhat Gündoğdu, who kidnapped his 34-year old wife
Zeynep - taping her hands and feet together - after she fled their home
and sought refuge with her relatives in Adana because Ferhat beat her,
has an interesting record as a sinema artist and criminal. He was arrested
last year for trying to bribe a traffic policeman in Istanbul and spent
time in prison.

Ferhat repeatedly beat his wife, who was treated for psychological
problems for a period of time because of the violence she suffered.
Ferhat is a native of Sarıkamış in Kars province and married his
cousin Zeynep when she was 13 years old. According to sources
close to the family, Zeynep had previously tried to escape because
she was abused by her son who took after his father.

Ferhat, along with three friends, took Zeynep from Adana, bound
her hands and feet with tape and put her in the back of a Jeep. He
was caught by police during a routine traffic check on the Adana-
Aksaray highway. Ferhat runs a cement plant in Istanbul and has
played the lead role in films he has produced himself.

14 Aralık 2011 Çarşamba

Monkey Business in Alanya

monkey links to original article

(Milliyet Newspaper, 13 December 2011)

In Çıplaklı town of Antalya's Alanya district, a monkey that stole food
last friday made its way into a chicken coop and killed some chickens.
The monkey's secret has now been solved. Town officers tried mightily
but in vain to capture the creature which, it turns out, was stolen from
Kemer town.

Cuma Avcı, who runs an internet cafe in Çamyuva town, claims that the
monkey belongs to him but that it was stolen, along with its cage, a
week ago from his backyard. Avcı explained that the 8-year old monkey's
name is Haydar and he said that 'a week ago a thief entered my home, stole
some money and jewelry, along with the monkey and his cage which
were in the garden. I filed a complaint with the Gendarmerie. I've been
looking for it for a week and the Gendarmerie called me to tell me that
a story had been published about a monkey in Alanya's Çıplaklı town.
I then watched the news report on the internet and saw that the monkey
has a scar under its neck just like mine. The monkey definitely belongs
to me.'

Avcı stated that as long as food or drink wasn't taken away from him
the monkey wouldn't attack anyone and he said he would go to Alanya
to search for the monkey. Avcı also explained how he came to own the
monkey: 'A monkey entered the garden of my home in the Uzunçınar
neighborhood in 2000. I started to watch the monkey and afterwards
the monkey gave birth to four offspring. I sent two of them to
Diyarbakır and one other died. Haydar is the last of the four that
mother monkey bore. I had an identity card issued from the vet and
named him Şeftali (peach) but we kept calling it Haydar and that
name stuck. Contrary to the news report, he wouldn't eat chickens.
He'd play with them,pluck their feathers and jump on them but he
wouldn't eat them. He may come up alongside someone and steal
their wallet though. He's a bit naughty.'

The Touch of Money

money links to original article

(Milliyet Newspaper, 13 December 2011)

In Aydın, tailor Kenan Güler (56) entered the line in front of an ATM
machine on 15 November to pay his wife's 500TL credit card bill. At
this point Mehmet Sarıkaş came up to Güler and said 'is everything ok?
Why do you have your hand in your pocket?'

In response, Güler explained that 'there's money there and I'm holding
it so it doesn't get stolen.' Hearing this Sarıkaş said that 'I just got out
of prison and I haven't touched money for a long time. Let me just
touch it.' Güler then gave Sarıkaş the money and Sarıkaş ran off with it.
Upon Güler's complaint to the police Sarıkaş, who has a record for
theft, was caught and arrested.

13 Aralık 2011 Salı

Extreme Camel Wrestling

camels links to original article

(Doğan News Agency, 11 December 2011)

The 8th annual camel wrestling competition held this year in Mumcular
town in Muğla's Bodrum district was the scene of some colorful events.
With the income from the wrestling matches the town will buy an
ambulance and motorcycles for the police.

The camel wrestling matches were held at the Mumcular Town Football
Field and 145 camels from Izmir, Aydın, Denizli, Manisa, Çanakkale,
Muğla, Antalya and Balikesir participated. In beautiful weather, some
five thousand people watched the matches, including Bodrum District
Chief Mehmet Gödekmerdan, Bodrum Mayor Mehmet Kocadan of the
Democrat Party and Mumcular Mayor Birol Aydın of the Nationalist
Action Party. A few foreign tourists were noticed among the crowd.

Since the weather was nice some people decided to have a picnic while
watching the matches and cooked camel sausages. The fierce clashes
between the camels generated lots of excitement, with the judges and
camel owners having difficulty separating the camels from time to
time. There were some tense moments as some owners and judges
traded harsh words. Additionally, one of the camels broke through the
barbed wire surrounding the field and headed toward the spectators,
sparking a panic. One woman who was frightened by the prospect
of being crushed fainted and was taken by ambulance to the Mumcular
Health Office for treatment.

The District Chief''s Trophy was won by 'Kahraman Ege' (Hero of the
Aegean) and the Mayor's Trophy was shared by two camels, 'Çılgın
Deniz' (Rough Sea) and 'Eren' (Saint). The trophies were presented to
the owners by Bodrum District Chief Mehmet Gödekmerdan and
Mumcular Mayor Birol Aydın.

Tickets for the event were 20TL and the resulting income will be used
to buy an ambulance for the town and motorcycles for the police.
District Chief Gödekmerdan said in his remarks that 'I salute everyone
who works at these kinds of festivals, which bring people from seven
to seventy together. You let everyone who lives in the district enjoy
a beautiful weekend amidst a holiday atmosphere.'

12 Aralık 2011 Pazartesi

Diplotrash - Walking the Walk

diplotrash links to original article

(Netbilgini Website, 10 December 2011)

The Press and Cultural Attache at the Dutch Consulate General in Istanbul,
Daniel Stork, loves Istanbul and he's helping the paper collectors! The
Dutch diplomat hits the streets at midnight with his handcart and gathers
paper he finds in garbage cans and in front of offices until 5 AM. He says
that 'the paper collectors are people of this city and I wanted to show that
they shouldn't be shunned.' The other paper collectors thanked Stork for
his sensitivity and commented that 'we wish that our politicians were this
sensitive toward us.'

11 Aralık 2011 Pazar

Occupy Starbucks!

starbucks links to original article

(IMC News, 7 December 2011)

Students at Bosphorus University have protested the opening of a Starbucks
on the south campus. The students occupied the Starbucks and spent the
night there.

The students brought food and drinks from home, put them on the tables
at Starbucks and initiated the protest. They had gathered in front of the
south campus library and first marched to the rector's building where they
made the following declaration: 'with the opening of the school to global
companies the campus has become of market where multinational firms
can operate there commercial activities.'

After making the statement, the students marched to Starbucks and shouted
'we're occupying our school'. They distributed the food they brought from
the Starbucks kitchen. Academicians gave support to the students' action.

8 Aralık 2011 Perşembe

Whoops! A Bit Too Generous

generous links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 7 December 2011)

Following the incident where the Sudemir family of Batman gave a pillow
filled with 12,000TL worth of gold to an aid convoy for Van (following
the recent earthquake there), the Boduroğlu family of Ankara has become
a victim of absentmindedness.

The Boduroğlu family had sewn gold into a sweater to hide it from thieves
when they went on vacation. But forgetting about it, they sent the sweater
to the earthquake victims in Van and realized the mistake a month later.
Father Ahmet Boduroğlu is retired from the state railroad company and
his son Korhan works as a lighting technician at the state theater. They
gathered up unused winter clothing and gave it to the state theater's
aid drive for the earthquake victims.

Ahmet Boduroğlu explained the dilemma: 'We had sewn a red bag
containing seven gold bracelets into the underarm of the sweater. While
we weren't at home Korhan gave all the unused sweaters away without
realizing this. When he became aware of it he tried to find out where
the aid had been sent. The state theater told us that like all the other
aid it had been sent to the Van state theater company, from where it
went to needy villagers. These bracelets were to be presents to our
unmarried children for their weddings. Everything has been lost.'

6 Aralık 2011 Salı

Superman, Spiderman, Batman...and Vatman!

vatman links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 5 December 2011)

A suit has been filed in connection with a fight that broke out between the
vatman (tram conductor) and two passengers he closed the doors on while
they were trying to board the tram in Beyazit (Istanbul).

According to the statement regarding the suit, which was opened based
on complaints from both sides, as passengers were trying to board the tram
during rush hour on 20 May 2011, vatman Necmi Yıldız closed the doors.
Two passengers, Salih Alkan and Aytaç Yavuzcan, got their feet caught
between the doors and were slightly injured.

Alkan and Yavucan then went to the conductor's cabin and cursed at
vatman Yıldız. Both sides filed complaints about each other. The
prosecutor filed charges against vatman Yıldız for 'causing the injury
of more than one person through negligence' and asked for a sentence
of between 6 months and two years. Alkan and Yavuzcan were charged
with 'publicly insultıng', which carries a sentence of between 4 months
and two years.

So Much for History...Ancient Bridge Trashed

bridge links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 1 December 2011)

Officials have gone into action after a new concrete bridge was built in Kars
at the request of villagers who wanted it instead of the ancient one already
in place. Upon the initiative of art historian Dr. Ali Murat Aktemur, the
Kars Council for the Protection of Culture and Nature has started an
inquiry about the incident.

A scandal has been generated in Taşköprü, a village of 200 people, tied
to Arpaçay district in Kars province. Village chief Bahri Daşdemir took
note of the complaints of villagers to the effect that the historic bridge
built by Urartu King Sarduri the Second in 739 B.C. did not meet their
needs. So two years ago Daşdemir had the ancient bridge destroyed. In
2009, prior to local elections, Daşdemir applied to the district chief of
Arpaçay and the district chief had a concrete bridged built in place of
the ancient one.

A short while ago, Dr. Ali Murat Aktemur went to the village to do
research about the Urartus but when he learned that the bridge had
been destroyed he went into shock. The director of the Kars Council
for the Protection of Culture and Nature, Hüsnü Genç, said that
'we will start administrative actions concerning those responsible
for destroying the old bridge and building the new one.'

5 Aralık 2011 Pazartesi

Imam's Flock Help Locate His Stolen Car

imam links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 3 December 2011)

In Istanbul's Sultanbeyli neighborhood, Imam M.Ş. parked his car with the
key in it in front of his mosque and it was stolen. M.Ş. alerted the police
and during his evening sermon he told his followers that his car had been
stolen and that any kind of theft is a sin.

After the service someone came up to M.Ş. and indicated that a minibus
driver might have information about these kinds of thefts. The two then
went to see the minibus driver who directed them to M.K., whom the
driver knew from the neighborhood, for discussions on the matter. M.Ş.
went to meet with M.K. and asked for help. M.K. made some phone
calls and located the Imam's stolen automobile.

However, the thieves said they wanted 1,500TL. They instructed M.Ş.
not to contact the police and told him that if he brought them the money
he would find out where his car was. Nevertheless, M.Ş. alerted the
police to the situation and they took suspects M.K. and G.D. into
custody. During the subsequent intrerrogation (!) the location of the car
was determined. In addition to M.Ş.'s car, another stolen vehicle was
found at the same location.

Processing of M.K. and G.D. was completed at the Car Theft Bureau
of the Istanbul Public Security Directorate and they were transported
to jail. Police are seeking another person in connection with the

2 Aralık 2011 Cuma

Marital Woes: Before & After

knife links to original article


(Sabah Newspaper, 1 December 2011)

In Kağıthane, Istanbul, P.O. (20) said to her waiter boyfriend M.E.K. (25)
'close your eyes, I'm going to give you something' and then stabbed him in
the chest. M.E.K. had promised to marry P.O., having taken her
virginity, but he subsequently reneged. M.E.K. was seriously wounded
and P.O. was arrested when she went to the hospital to express her regret
to M.E.K. A charge carrying a sentence of nine years was filed against P.O.

According to the indictment prepared by the Istanbul Public Prosecutor,
P.O. and M.E.K., who both work as waiters at the same restaurant in
Kağıthane, started to have a relationship about 7 or 8 months ago. During
this time M.E.K. won P.O.'s heart with a promise to marry her. On the
night of 3 November, when the stabbing incident occurred, M.E.K. had
come to P.O.'s home and spent the night there. In the morning, as M.E.K.
was leaving for work P.O. brought up the marriage issue, saying 'you
said you'd marry me. So let's get married.' In response, M.E.K. had said
'I'm going to do my military service. You do what you want to do.'

Hearing this P.O. was shocked but concealed her anger. She went to the
kitchen, got a knife which she hid behind her back and came back to
M.E.K. P.O. then said 'close you eyes. I'm going to give you something.'
When M.E.K. did so P.O. suddenly plunged the knife she was holding
into his chest. In great pain, M.E.K. grabbed the knife from his girlfriend,
ran outside and took a taxi to the hospital where he was treated for life-
threatening wounds.

P.O. felt remorse following the incident and wanted to find out about her
boyfriend's condition so she went to the hospital but was arrested there
by police. In her statement she said 'he deceived me into loving him with
a promise of marriage. He took my virginity but since we were going to
marry I put up with the situation and didn't complain. When he said he
wouldn't marry me I grabbed the knife to scare him but as we struggled
the knife accidently plunged into him.'

P.O. was transported to the prosecutor who completed the interrogation
and filed a charge carrying a sentence of 5 to 9 years for the crime of
'wounding'. The trial will begin in the days ahead at the Istanbul Court
of First Instance.

//and after...//

GPS links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 1 December 2011)

In Isparta, the Yurdakul couple, who got married four years ago, started
to live apart eight months ago. Fadime Yurdakul (21), who has sued
for divorce, filed a complaint with the Halıkent Police Station the day
before yesterday, saying that her husband, who doesn't want to divorce,
was harrassing her. At about 1800 Fadime Yurdakul left the police
station and began walking toward the market when Serdar Yurdakul (28),
who was following the woman in his car, stopped his vehicle in the
back of the Isparta Governor's Office.

Serdar Yurdakul said he wanted to make up and tried to get his wife into
his car. She refused so he forceably put her into the trunk of the car
and fled. Security forces, reacting to the news from bystanders, learned
from the car's license plate that it had been rented from a company in
Antalya. In a short time, officials were able to pinpoint the location of
the vehicle thanks to the GPS mounted in it.

It was determined that the car was parked in front of a factory on the
Isparta-Eğirdir highway so a large number of police were sent there.
Nevertheless, Serdar Yurdakul tried to flee in spite of warnings from
police for him to stop. Units at the Eğirdir District Gendarmerie Command
at the entrance to the district heard about the situation and blocked the
road. However, Yurdakul was able to flee from here, as well. After a long
chase,the car was brought to a halt at the Eğirdir Port location and Serdar
Yurdakul was taken into custody.  The young woman in the trunk was
set free.

The couple had previously lived in Antalya, have no children and their
divorce suit has been under discussion in recent days. Serdar Yurdakul
works for a logistics firm.

1 Aralık 2011 Perşembe

One Close Shave Too Many

shave links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 1 December 2011)

Textile worker Fabuk B. (41) was involved in a traffic argument six years
ago in Bostancı, during which he killed one person and wounded another
in their pickup truck. Thanks to the alertness of a policeman he has been
caught. The policeman from the Murder Bureau went to the same barber
he always goes to and recognized the person next to him getting a shave as
the suspect.

The incident in question occurred on 13 October 2005 on the E-5 highway
in Bostancı, when textile worker Faruk B. argued with two people in a
pickup truck who had cut him off on the road. The argument quickly
grew into a fight, with both parties cursing each other. Since there was
heavy traffic on the road, the two cars would advance a bit and the
individuals would get out of their vehicles from time to time to continue
the fight.

According to the statements of eye witnesses, when traffic came to a
halt the persons in the pickup truck got out and started to break the
windows of Faruk B.'s car. At this point, Faruk B. took out his pistol
and started firing at the pickup truck occupants. Çoşkun Karataş (37)
was killed during the incident and Ferhat Aslaner (37) was injured.
Faruk B. then disappeared.

Thanks to the alertness of the Murder Bureau policeman Faruk B. who
has been sought for six years, was arrested. The policeman went to
the same barber he always goes to in Zeytinburnu and recognized the
person getting a shave next to him as Faruk B. The policeman didn't
leave the shop after his haircut but instead asked the suspect, who
was still getting his shave, for identification.

The policeman realized that the identity card Faruk B. had shown
him was fake so he took Faruk B., whose face was still covered with
shaving lather, into custody. When taken to the Murder Bureau it
was confirmed that Faruk B. was in fact the suspect police have
been searching for for six years.  After formalities, the suspect was
taken to jail.

Prophet's Heir's Profit Motive

prophet links to related article

(Sözcü Newspaper, 30 November 2011)

In Kocaeli's Gebze district, Mustafa Mallı allegedly identified himself as a
descendent of the prophet (Muhammed) in 2008, promised 1049 families
that they would be homeowners, collected gold and foreign exchange that
these families had accumulated and then vanished.

Mallı had told the victims 'we come from the family of the Prophet.
Buying a house from us is like buying one from heaven' and made similar
promises. Some 296 of the family member filed a complaint against Mallı
and an arrest warrant was issued. Yesterday he was captured.

As Mallı was being transported to the Gebze Courthouse yesterday
about 250 victims who heard that he had been arrested flocked there .
One woman said that 'I sacrificed my family's bread and gave him more
than 50 gold coins.' Mallı gave a statement to the prosecutor and was
incarcerated by the duty court.