turkce links to original Turkish article
(Hurriyet Newspaper, 20 April 2015)
Once you live the good life, you just can't give it up...
Mustafa Serer (30) of Kutahya came to Istanbul 20 days ago in a
commercial vehicle and prepared an email adress for himself in the
name of the Turkish Parliament. Then he began to send emails to
luxury hotels in the name of the Labor and Social Security Ministry.
Identifying himself in the emails as a ministerial advisor, Serer, who
is a computer programmer, told the hotels to make a reservation for
him and send the bill to the ministry. The first hotel to respond was
a luxury one in Bakirkoy, Istanbul, and Serer stayed in the King's
Suite there. He ate, drank, had a massage, emptied the mini-bar and
went in the sauna, taking with him expensive liquor, a bathrobe,
slippers, soap and cream when he left.
Serer sold the liquor he took at half price to a liquor store. In the
ensuing days, Serer stayed in the King's Suites in luxury hotels in
Sisli and Besiktas. Again, he took liquor and other items from the
hotels and put them into his commercial vehicle, which he parked
in the hotel autopark. When the chance arose, he sold these things,
Three days ago, Serer settled into a luxury hotel in Sisli, ordering
expensive liquor and availing himself of the hotel's amenities.
However, a hotel staff member became suspicious when Serer
placed an extremely costly liquor order and informed his superiors.
An inquiry made by the hotel to the Labor and Social Security
Ministry revealed that there was no ministerial advisor named
Serer's 15-day royal lifestyle came to an end. A Sisli police team
came to the hotel and took Serer into custody. Serer gave police
a list of the hotels he stayed at and when contacted, hotel authorities
said that they realized they had been defrauded and were looking
for Serer. The total losses for the hotels reached nearly 200,000 TL
(about $90,000). The police released Serer, pending trial (!).
As for Serer, he explained that "I came to Istanbul 20 days ago.
Since I didn't have a place to stay, I slept in my vehicle for two
nights. When it broke down I was able to get insurance money so
I used that to stay in a hotel but then I ran out of money. Previously,
I lived a very luxurious life style so I didn't want to be left out on the
street. I have friends who work in Parliament and they make hotel
reservations for the parliamentarians this way. So I figured I'd
try it. That's how I stayed in 6 hotels. Now, I regret it (!)."
"...hello, I'm King Mustafa."