türkçe links to original Turkish article
(HaberTürk Newspaper, 3 July 2016)
Worship among thieves. (faces blurred by divine intervention).
In Istanbul, Iranian businessman Chabi A., who imports airplane
motors, withdrew money from a money-exchange service in Aksaray
on 29 March and boarded the tram with a 'friend'. At Cevizlibağ the
two switched to the Metrobüs and got off at Florya Beşyol, walking
toward the bank where Chabi A. planned to deposit the money.
At this point, though, Chabi A. was attacked and robbed by two men
on a motorcycle who forced him to hand over 2 million TL worth of
foreign exchange, his tablet and cellphone. After the robbery, Chabi
A. headed straight for the police station and police began to carefully
look into the crime.
First, the police put Chabi A.'s 'friend' Hıdır Ş. under scrutiny and,
found that he had been in contact with some criminals. As the case
proceeded, police picked up the signal of the stolen tablet in Konya.
The user there told police that he had obtained the tablet from a
This is the limit!
Police then looked at surveillance video from the garbage dump and
identified individuals who came from the same village as Hıdır Ş.
Three days before this, police had raided homes in Istanbul and
Mardın and took Hıdır Ş., Talip A., Kenan A., Okan K. and Murat
A. into custody.
Information about suspect Murat A. shocked the police, who learned
that Murat A. worked at an electronics store in Fatih, Istanbul, and
had used a motorcycle registered in his mother's name on the day
of the robbery incident. Police found out, as well, that Murat A.
had gone on 'umre' (a minor pilgrimage to Mecca) 5 days after the
Also, Murat A,, Hıdır Ş., Kenan A. and Talip A., who all come
from the same village, had had a minaret built in the names of
their fathers at the mosque in the village. Kenan A. had home
built in his village in Mardin and Talip A. bought himself a new
car. All the suspects denied the charges but were taken to jail anyway.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Religious Affairs weighed in on whether
"stolen money can be used for 'umre'". Officials from the ministry
provided this (very interesting) response: "worship undertaken with
dirty money cannot be considered a good thing. One cannot worship
using dirty money. But (!) since there is no way we can know whether
all or just part of the stolen money was used for 'umre' and the minaret,
we cannnot comment. If only the stolen money was used for worship
then that cannot be sanctioned."
Ministry of Religious Affairs