(Sabah Newspaper, 16 April 2013)
If it sounds too good to be true...
In Iskenderun district of Hatay province, former
CHP Parliamentarian Abdulaziz Yazar and some
businessmen were bilked out of nearly 5 million TL,
in fear of evil spirits. Nevzat Acikkoz, who calls
himself the Syrian Sheikh, and five others have
been arrested in the case.
The phony shaikh was arrested for the crime of
"defrauding through exploitation of religious beliefs
and emotions." His lawyer requested that his client
be freed pending trial because "he's just an elementary
school graduate and he drinks." In his statement,
Acikkoz declared his assets to be a 2003-model Porsche,
two bus lines and a monthly income of 4,500TL.
Abdulaziz Yazar and the other victims were bilked
with the tale that evil spirits were guarding 12 large
earthenware jars filled with gold lying in the gardens
of their villas. Acikkoz told the former parliamentarian
that "evil spirits sent a gift of tons of gold that lie under
your house. If anyone else hears about it the evil
spirits will harm you." Acikkoz took a total of 1.5
million TL from Yazar with this tale.
Iskenderun, on the coast of Hatay.