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.