(Sabah Newpaper, 27 January 2013)
TV host gets police attention and 23 TL
Bilal Tavlak is a presenter who makes comedy
programs for a channel in Erzurum so he decided
to do a show about the increase of street beggers
in Erzurum. Tavlak wanted to draw attention to
the issue and to see how much money a begger
could collect in an hour's time.
So Tavlak dressed like a panhandler, wearing
a regional shawl to cover his face, parked himself
on Erzurum's busiest street, Cumhuriyet Boulevard,
and began to beg. The police made an announcement
for Tavlak to move on but he didn't notice. When the
police came closer, thinking Tavlak was a woman,
they said "get out of here. It's forbidden for women
When the police finally realized that Tavlak was a
man they started to bring him in to the police station.
At this point, Tavlak referred to the cameras filming
him from a distance and declared 'I'm filming a program."
Unconvinced, the police began hauling him off. Ultimately,
Tavlak's TV colleagues appeared and assured the police
that Tavlak was who he claimed to be.
Explaining the situation, Tavlak said that "each week
I try to raise viewers' consciousness through sketches
and reporting. So this week I chose this unique way to
highlight the near occupation of the city by beggers. I
wanted to see how much a begger could get in an hour.
My goal was an hour but I only could beg for 25 minutes.
I collected 23 TL in that time. The police were ready to
hustle me down to the police station but thanks to the
cameras they backed off."