14 Nisan 2018 Cumartesi
Greetings Pilgrims, Your Search is Over (Before it Began)
türkçe links to original Turkish article
(HaberTürk Newspaper, 14 April 2018)
"We'd be better off hitchhiking to Mecca..."
Officials from a company in Kayseri boarded 68 people from
Elbistan in Kahramanmaraş province on two buses ostensibly to
take them on 'umre' (pilgrimage to Mecca). Instead, the pilgrims
were taken for a drive around Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa. (!)
Once the pilgrims, who paid $690 each for the 'umre' excursion,
realized they had been hoodwinked they informed their relatives
in Elbistan and when the two busloads of pilgrims returned to
Elbistan, police were waiting.
Would-be pilgrim Durdu Mehmet Kılıç explained that he had
agreed with the firm to go to Mecca and the firm said that the
pilgrims would depart for Saudi Arabia from Kayseri Airport.
"When we got on the buses, though, we were told we would
tour Balıkgölü in Şanlıurfa instead. In the evening they said
they wouldn't be able to take us to Mecca so they brought us
back to Elbistan."
Another victim, Yüksel Kılıçi, lamented that "we departed
thinking we were going to the holy land of Mecca and Medina
but they toured us around Şanlıurfa and brought us back to
Elbistan." Police took the bus drivers to the police station for