31 Aralık 2013 Salı

Banned Fan Pays Fine With Spare Change

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Sabah Newspaper, 28 December 2013)

A penny for his thoughts...

Businessman Cihangir Kahraman (37), a fan of the Besiktas
football team, devised an interesting protest for being
wrongly banned from the team's games. Despite going to a
match with a ticket, Kahraman was fined for trying to enter
the stadium illegally. Part of Kahraman's penalty was being
banned from the team's matches for one year.

Kahraman was supposed to go to the local police station at
match time and sign in to prove that he had not gone to the
match. However, Kahraman did not adhere to this condition
and was fined 2,000 TL for not showing up at the police station
at match time.

Feeling that he had been wronged, Kahraman decided to pay
the fine with 15,000 metal coins, weighing 45 kilograms,
in protest.

Here is what led up to the fine: on 1 September, Kahraman and
his friends bought tickets and went to  Ataturk Olympic Stadium
to see the Besiktas-Gaziantep match. Because of a disturbance
at the checkpoint furthest from the stadium, Kahraman and his
friends could not reach their seats.

Kahraman explained further, saying "although I showed my
ticket, a policemen gave orders to 'take these guys.'  The four
of us were taken into custody so, realizing that we couldn't
go to the match, we gave our tickets to some other fans. At the
police station we didn't admit any guilt but we were banned
from the matches, nonetheless."

"I didn't go to the police station to sign in a few times but no
one said this would result in a fine. Based on this law, anyone
who goes to a match is committing a crime.  In any event,
the 2,000 TL fine came along so to protest I paid it with metal
coins. I went to the Central Bank and changed 2,000 TL in
paper money for 15,000  1, 5 and 10 kurus coins, weighing
about 45 kilograms. Then I went to the court and paid the fine
this way."

30 Aralık 2013 Pazartesi

Remote Control Mayhem

turkce links to original Turkish article

(HaberTurk Newspaper, 30 December 2013)

When one insists on 'Love Boat' reruns...

In Konya, two brothers suffered knife wounds because
of a fight over the TV remote control. Allegedly, M.A. (15)
argued with his older brother Ahmet A. (24) about who would
handle the TV remote. Shortly thereafter, a third brother, Aydin
A. (23), said to be schizophrenic, joined the fray. As the argument
turned into a fight, Aydin A. got a knife from the kitchen and
stabbed his brothers. M.A. was wounded in the stomach and
Ahmet A. in the arm.

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 28 December 2013)

Angel of Death's fateful flight path.

Yesterday, a heating motor belonging to a metal factory exploded
in the Velimese Organized Industrial Area in Ergene district of
Tekirdag province. The force of the explosion threw the motor's
fan through the wall of the toy factory next door, where it hit Nesrin
Cakir, who was at her work station, in the stomach.

As Nesrin collapsed in blood on the floor, her co-workers called 112
(emergency services) right away. A rescue team was on the scene
shortly thereafter and took Nesrin to Corlu State Hospital. Despite
all efforts at the hospital, Nesrin could not be saved.

Ergene is in NW Tekirdag.


29 Aralık 2013 Pazar

Postal Single Point of Failure

postal links to original article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 29 December 2013)

Job opening in Altindere

When the only postman at the PTT (Post Telephone &
Telegraph) office in the town of Altindere, population
5,000, in Sakarya province, retired he was not replaced.
Instead, a PTT worker started coming to the Karapurcek
PTT branch in Altindere twice a week, but only to attend to
financial activities.
Coffeehouse-cum-post office

Mail coming to the town in postal bags has been left at a coffee-
house for residents to pick up. But since many people don't visit
the coffeehouse bills and documents have gone unclaimed. The
chief of Cumhuriyet neighborhood, Metin Cin, said that six
months worth of letters and important documents have been
left in the postal bags.

He added that "people who live close to the coffeehouse are
coming to get their mail but Altindere is six kilometers from
end to end. Notices and legal documents for residents who don't
come to the coffeehouse are going unclaimed for months. Some
of these are getting lost in the process. Consequently, many
people are being hit with debt notices and interest fines."

Altindere is in Karapurcek district.

28 Aralık 2013 Cumartesi

Paving Over History

paving links to original article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 28 December 2013)

Inconvenience residents for this historical nonsense?!

In Mugla's Gumusluk town, three graves in the cemetery
of ancient Myndos city, from the  Myndos Helenistic
Period, were discovered during the trench work  associated
with the Bodrum Peninsula Drinking Water Project three
years ago. However, because the graves were located along
the main Turgutreis-Gumusluk-Yalakavak road, the requisite
salvage excavation could not be done.

Consequently, it was proposed to the Gumusluk municipality
that an alternative road be used and the completion of this new
route was awaited. Once the new road was ready the Myndos
salvage excavation began and as ceramic pots, jewelry and
skeletons were unearthed they were placed under protection.
Because of the newly-found graves, the road passing through
them, which was illegal anyway, was closed to traffic, which
was then diverted through Samanlik.

But the municipality appealed to the Culture and Natural
Treasures Preservation Council to have the old road reopened
to traffic, even though the new route was 2 kilometers shorter
and straighter than the old road. The Council's response was
that "there is no objection to the graves being closed up and
paved over with asphalt for use as a road again."  AK Party
Gumusluk Mayor Mehmet Tire stated that "there are people
in that area  that go to their homes and work places. The road
has to be opened."

Prof. Dr. Mustafa Sahin, who has led the excavations at Myndos
Antique City for six years, said that he didn't believe it when
the Council announced it's decision. He stated that "they're trying
to put a road that shouldn't be there, according to the development
plan for a first degree archaeological necropolis,  through ancient
treasures. I cannot comprehend why they would close graves that
shed light on the ancient city's history and pave them over with
asphalt. We know that there are more graves here, as well."

Bodrum/Gumusluk is on the left edge.

27 Aralık 2013 Cuma

Pimps Smoked Out by Anti-Smoking Poster

no smoking links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 26 December 2013)

Smoke-free but hell nonetheless.

The Health Ministry's anti-smoking poster has caused
the break up of a criminal gang in Igdir that was forcing
young women into prostitution. Allegedly, V.E. and C.I.,
who run a nightclub in Melekli town, threatened two
women they brought to Turkey by illegal means, Z.T.
and G.R., with death in order to make them prostitutes.

The two women were held in a secret room of the nightclub.
But the day before yesterday, G.R. noticed the anti-smoking
poster in the club that read "Don't smoke in enclosed areas.
Report offenders to 156". So G.R. called the 156 hotline
prompting the Gendarmerie to conduct an operation at the

The two women were rescued and the gang members taken
into custody. V.E. and C.I. denied the charged but they were
incarcerated anyway by the court.  In her statement, G.R.
said that "they didn't let us go anywhere. We had to prostitute
ourselves and they shared the money we earned with themselves.
Just about every day they beat us." After processing, the two
women will be expelled from Turkey.

Igdir, way out east.


26 Aralık 2013 Perşembe

Nosy Neighbor Sparks Military 'Travesty'

travesti links to original article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 25 December 2013)

//ed. note: the Turkish word 'travesti' means 'transvestite'.//

Too much information.

In Antalya, 'guests' identifying themselves as military
wives, who entered the parking lot of the Army House
on Cumhuriyet Boulevard in the Kisla neighborhood,
created a crisis. Area resident K.Z. noticed the activity
in question from his/her balcony at 0415 in the morning
and suspected that soldiers were involved in prostitution.

K.Z. spoke with the soldiers tied to the Central Command,
whom K.Z. claimed were 'travesti' (transvestites), and video
recorded the movement of their car from the vehicle check-
point to the parking lot. K.Z. then ran to the Army House
entry point and angrily told the soldiers there to summon
the duty officer.

When the duty officer arrived K.Z. told him that "this car
with two transvestites inside made a few trips around the
area and then stopped at the Army House entry point. A
soldier came out from the Army House and spoke with the
people in the car. The vehicle then went to the darkest
corner of the parking lot. When I saw this happen I came
down from my home and scolded the soldiers."

Officials from the Central Command, however, stated that
the incident was based on a misunderstanding and they
provided the following information: "A vehicle approached
the Army House entry point at 0415 in the morning and, of
course, the soldier on duty told the people in the car that they
could not wait there. The car's occupants said that they were
'military wives' and so their ID cards were requested."

"At the same time another vehicle  approached the parking
lot so the soldier said to the first car's occupants 'let's look
at your cards inside' and allowed the car to enter.  When
the car's occupants failed to produce the required ID cards
they were immediately expelled."

"Certainly, the person who observed this activity (K.Z.)
perceived it differently. We looked at the video ourselves
and the car's parking lot entry and exit lasted 1 minute and
8 seconds. In such a period of time there was no chance
that anything (like K.Z. was suggesting) could have occurred."

Duty (or booty) calls in Antalya?

25 Aralık 2013 Çarşamba

It's A Boy! ...Or is It?

boy! links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 23 December 2013)
Dad wants a football star, not a cheerleader.

An incredible mix-up occurred at the Sanliurfa Womens
Diseases and Birth Hospital. Rabia Celik of Suruc district
felt labor pains the day before yesterday and her relatives
rushed her to the hospital. The young woman gave birth in
the morning hours and was told she had delivered a boy.
At the same exact time, and in the same room, Hediye
Kalkanmaz of Viransehir gave birth to a girl, or so she was

Birth certificates for both babies were prepared and both
woman, who had delivered naturally, were discharged
from the hospital that evening. The Celik family returned
to their home with all the excitement that having a first
child can bring. But they were in for a shock: as Rabia
changed her baby's diaper she discovered that the child
was female

The Celik family headed straight for the hospital and showed
officials there the birth certificate for their male child. Father
Necmi Celik filed a criminal complaint, noting that "we
brought the child that was not ours directly back to the
hospital. We have a birth report that says our child is a
boy. We want our real child returned to us right away."

An investigation revealed that the Kalkanmaz family, who
thought they had had a girl, left the hospital with a male
child.  Hospital officials contacted the Kalkanmaz's and
asked them to bring the child back to the hospital. DNA
samples were taken from both families and the babies and
the results will reveal which child belongs to which family.

The decision was made to keep both babies at the hospital
until the DNA tests are finalized. Head Doctor Abit Demir
mused "we don't know whether the families were given the
wrong babies or whether the birth certificates were filled
out wrong. The truth will come out."

Suruc ,to the west, and Viransehir, to the east.

24 Aralık 2013 Salı

More Proof: Don't Envy Lotto Winners

lotto links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 24 December 2013)

Lotto drama's  Yusuf and Gulsen

Yusuf Akoglu lives in Haracci town in Istanbul's
Arnavutkoy area.  Last year, Akoglu won 6 million TL
in the New Year's lotto drawing and then married
Gulsen Akoglu, who worked at his son's office.

The couple signed a "pre-nuptial agreement" but soon
found that they couldn't get along.  Akoglu then filed a
divorce suit against Gulsen, who is 30 years his junior,
but she counter-sued, demanding 125,000 TL each for
real and emotional damages and 2,000 TL in monthly
alimony. Gulsen alleged that "he comes to my door each
day and threatens to kill me!" and asked the court for a
restraining order against Akoglu.

In her divorce petition given at Gaziosmanpasa Family
Court, Gulsen stated that "I married Yusuf Akoglu last
year through the intercession of his son. We fell out with
each other because of his sons. I'm receiving death threats
from Akoglu and his four sons. Akoglu comes to my door
each day and spews curses, insults and threats."

As for Akoglu, he asserted that Gulsen had secretly sold
his house. He added that "I shared the 6 million TL with
my children and bought a house. I live on my retirement
pay. I wanted to have a contented life so I married Gulsen
last year but she never stayed by my side. She continually
went to her mother's house and she secretly sold the house
we lived in in Hadimkoy without my permission. She
married me for my money."

The court has written a letter to the land registry in the
matter and both Akoglu and Gulsen will face the judge.

Arnavutkoy is the big pink district on the left.

23 Aralık 2013 Pazartesi

Hypnotic Robbery Via Cellphone

hipnosis links to original article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 22 December 2013)

//ed. note: this is our blog's 3rd anniversary issue! As for
the report below, incredible as it may seem, professors,
generals and even some police have fallen victim to this
hypnotic robbery technique. Each week brings a new incident.//

Svengali on the line. It's for you...

An indictment prepared by the Istanbul Public Prosecutor
has revealed that the simple crime of 'kontor' fraud
(cellphone fraud) has seen a rapid and marked increase
across Turkey. According to the indictment, 3 million TL
worth of cellphone fraud occurred in Istanbul in just the
past month.

By using a hypnotic technique on the telephone, the victims
are made to do whatever they're told to do, like robots. The
secrets of the fraud are listed in the indictment as follows:

-- since the cellphone lines used in the crime belong to others,
    the perpetrators can act without concern and easily put the
    victims under their control.

-- the scammers identify themselves as police or prosecutors
    and tell those they call that they have been found to have
    links to a terror organization. The victims are then instructed
    to withdraw money from their bank for use in an anti-terror

--  the scammers test their victims psychologically to see
     whether or not they under control and have them keep their
     phones open continuously, hypnotizing them in the process.

The hypnotized victims do exactly what they are told, like robots.
After shutting off their cellphones, however, the victims soon
realize that they've been hoodwinked.

22 Aralık 2013 Pazar

Father Lavatori Clips Angels' Wings

angels links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 22 December 2013)

//ed. note: Although our blog items are almost always
Turkey-related, our editorial board views anything that
appears in the Turkish press as fair game. This one proved
to be irresistible.//

Wonders yes, but wingless wonders.

A Catholic church within the Vatican infrastructure that
focuses its work solely on angels has announced that angels
don't have wings. Father Renzo Lavatori (!), who works on
the related committee, stated that angels exist but, contrary
to what is believed, they are wingless. Father Lavatori added
that "angels are being rediscovered in the Christian world.
We can feel them but we can't see them. Angels are like the
light we see when a crystal vase breaks."

When Father Lavatori was reminded that in Renaissance
paintings angels are depicted with wings he countered that
such paintings were based on imagination and do not reflect
the truth.  Father Lavotori's committee noted that as people
become more secular and removed from religion, Satan has
gotten more attention.  This development has accelerated
the committee's work on angels.

21 Aralık 2013 Cumartesi

Carjacked by Police (Whoops!)

carjacked links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 19 December 2013)

Pull Over!

Murat Sener, who lives in Ankara, set out in his car with his
family toward Sorgun district of Yozgat province to attend his aunt's
funeral last March. About 15 miles from Sorgun, Sener was stopped
by police and his vehicle was confiscated because there were
outstanding warrants and impoundment orders against it.

The Sener family was left stranded on the road and could not attend
the funeral. They returned by bus to Ankara. Once back home,
Sener learned that there were 4 separate impoundment and seizure
orders concerning his car. He learned, as well, that the orders pertained
to an indebted person who happened to have the same name as Sener.

Sener had the orders lifted at the concerned offices in  Ankara and
Kirikkale and had his lawyer, Mehmet Azar, file a suit against the
Justice Ministry for 5,300 TL in compensation. In the petition, Azar
wrote about Sener: "My client and his family could not attend the
funeral of his beloved aunt because of the wrongful impoundment and
seizure orders issued. He will carry the pain of being unable to fulfill
his final duty to the women he loved almost as a mother for a lifetime.
My client must be compensated for the real and spiritual harm he has
suffered by this unjust action."  The suit is now being heard in Ankara's
22 Petty Crimes Court.

                                            Sorgun district in in central Yozgat province.

19 Aralık 2013 Perşembe

Juxtaposed Justice

irony links to original article

//ed. note: As a major corruption scandal erupts in Turkey among the
power elite (who will likely never be prosecuted), this poor kid is
facing 7 years in jail for letting a few people get through the metro
turnstiles with his reduced-fare card.//

(Sabah Newspaper, 19 December 2013)

No good deed goes unpunished.

Sinan Y. (22)  works as a private security guard at the metro
station at the Esenler Bus Terminal in Istanbul. He is now in
court for letting four people through the metro turnstiles using
his reduced-fare card.  A case was opened against Sinan Y.
when the Istanbul Transportation Company filed  a complaint
against him.

According to the indictment prepared by the Istanbul Public
Prosecutor, it is alleged that Sinan Y., who works for Joy Security,
let some people who came from other provinces and who couldn't
figure out where to get tokens, get through the turnstiles with his
reduced-fare card.   Lawyers for Istanbul Transportation Company
asserted that Sinan Y.'s improper actions had inflicted 4 Lira 9 Kurus
(about 2 USD) worth of damages on the company.

In his statement to the prosecutor, Sinan Y. denied the charges, saying
that he was only trying to help these strangers. He noted that similar
assistance is often extended to riders on Istanbul's buses and he
remarked that "I got nothing at all out of this for myself."

Nevertheless, the prosecutor has prepared the indictment against
Sinan Y. for "abusing his position" and has called for a prison
sentence of from one to seven years.

18 Aralık 2013 Çarşamba

Snowbound Classmates Leave Pupil On His Own

special links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 16 December 2013)

35 to 1 reverse ratio

The National Education Ministry organized a make-up
exam for middle school students this year but on the first
and second days of the test only one student showed up
in Baskale district of Van province.

The test was administered at the Cumhuriyet Middle School,
where 308 students were expected to participate. Some 35
teachers were assigned to the school for the test, which was
given yesterday and the day before. Only Mazlum Isik took
the test, leaving 16 of the 17 classrooms totally empty. The
35 teachers who were assigned to the school for both days
waited in vain for the other 307 students.

Heavy snow that closed the roads of surrounding villages
was blamed for the no-shows. As for Isik, he said that "when
I saw the empty classrooms I was shocked. God willing I
got a good mark."
Baskale is near the Iranian border.

17 Aralık 2013 Salı

Intrigue Before and After Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence links to original article

(column by Yilmaz Ozdil, Hurriyet Newspaper 17 December 2013)

//ed. note: this blog is dedicated to the late, great Irishman Peter O'Toole//

World media emperor Rupert Murdoch came to Ankara last year and
had a face to face meeting with (Prime Minister) Tayyip Erdogan.
As a memento, Murdoch presented Erdogan with John Philby's book.
Murdoch is the son of an Australian correspondent who wrote secretly
to the Australian Prime Minister from Canakkale (Gelipoli), saying that
the English commanders at the front were sending false reports to London.
Murdoch's father recommended that the Australians warn the English
that Canakkale was impassable and that they should withdraw.

The author of the book that Murdoch presented to Erdogan - The Empty
Quarter - was written by John Philby, an English spy who could speak
Arabic like a native and who became a Moslem. He even took the name
Shaikh Abdullah!  While we were wrestling with the British at Canakkale,
Philby was sent to Arabia as an aid to Mecca Sherif Huseyin who had
risen up against the Ottomans.

At the same time Philby was organizing the Arabs who were stabbing us
in the back, he was obtaining concessions for oil companies and building
his own wealth by pilfering historical artifacts and selling them to British
museums. He returned to England, entered politics, wasn't elected and
pouted. During the Second World War he switched sides, started selling out
his own country and worked surreptitiously for Hitler. Philby was arrested
and put under house arrest and when the war ended he went to Lebanon,
where his heart gave out and he died. He is buried in a Moslem cemetery
in Beirut.

This spy had a son named Kim Philby. Like his father, Kim Philby graduated
from Cambridge, spoke native-level Arabic and was a spy. He was sent to
Istanbul in 1947 as a consulate secretary and subsequently went to
Washington to work as a liaison between the CIA and MI6. He became
known as the "spy of the century" during the Cold War because he was a
double agent. Kim Philby had been coopted by the Soviet secret service
and was selling information to Moscow. He was suspected, followed but
never caught red-handed. Nevertheless he was fired.

Again, like his father, Kim Philby went to Beirut, supposedly as a journalist.
Time passed and it happened that a KGB officer named Anatoliy Golitsy
sought asylum with the U.S. and sang like a nightingale. Golitsy exposed
Kim Philby and the evidence of his syping had been found. Philby could
almost feel the British rope around his neck so he fled across Syria to
Armenia and from there to Russia. Philby had married and divorced  his
English and American wives but this time married the Russian writer
Rufina Pukhova, a native of  Poland. His life became a book, then a
Hollywood movie. Philby turned into an alcoholic and tried suicide twice.
He died in 1988 from heart failure. Russia issued a stamp in his memory.

In fact, after Kim Philby's death is came out that when he was working
in Istanbul, a  KGB officer by the name of Konstantin Volkov, assigned to
the Soviet Consulate in Istanbul, wanted to seek asylum in England. 
With expert maneuvers, Philby personally delivered Volkov to the KGB
because Volkov had a list of  KGB moles, with Kim Philby's name at
the top of the list!

If we return to the father of this spy, we see that John Philby, who was
organizing the Saudis, was directing a woman named Gertrude Bell,
who was doing the same thing in Iraq.  Oxford graduate Gertrude was
a spy who knew seven languages, including Turkish, Arabic, Farsi and
Kurdish. She was quite beautiful, as well, with red hair, green eyes and
a delicate figure. Anyone who saw her was struck by her appearance.
She was radiant. Gertrude roamed Mesopotamia as an archeologist,
organizing the tribes. She participated in the 1919 Paris Conference
as a delegate, produced a map that separated the Kurdish, Arab and
Turkmen regions and drew Iraq's borders, as they remain today, with
her own hands.

The Iraqi border that was signed off on by Turkey and England in 1924
was her work. Gertrude also found a king - she placed Faysal, the son of
John Philby's good buddy Sherif Huseyin, as a puppet on the Iraqi
throne. The Arabs called her "Desert Queen". Gertrude never married
but she did fall in love with Major Dick Doghty-Willie. Just her luck,
though, the Major was married. They corresponded, got together but the
Major didn't divorce his wife. Gertrude was distraught but we (the Turks)
solved the problem - we killed the Major at Canakkale so there was no
need for a family-wrecking tragedy.

Perhaps this is where Gertrude's hatred of the Turks began. When her
lover died she went to Cairo and joined the British secret service's Arab
bureau there. She then went to Iraq to take care of the matters I
summarized above. First she laid a trap there for us and then she
destroyed herself. In 1926, at the age of 58,  she committed suicide with
an overdose of sleeping pills. Gertrude Bell is buried in Baghdad.

Before she killed herself, though, Gertrude came to Anatolia many times.
She knew well our weakness for beautiful women, used it to open doors
wide for her and even had us give her a guide so she could roam all over
our country to her heart's delight. Gertrude got a good return for her efforts,
visiting Diyarbakir, Adana, Konya and  Capadocia. She produced lists of
Kurdish and Christian villages, discerned which tribes were loyal
to the (Turkish) government and which ones were traitorous.  Gertrude
mapped every place she went to - for example, in one letter she writes
"I stayed over at the Zaho camp." I don't know, do you recall this Zaho
camp from somewhere! (Zaho camp was/is a PKK camp).

Gertrude even went to Cudi (mountain in SE Turkey) and to Antakya.
On the pretext that she was touring churches along the Syrian border,
the state of which we see today, Gertrude reported on the population's
ethnic roots and religious sects. When she died she left 16 hand-written
diaries, about 2,000 letters and 7,000 photographs.

(The real) Lawrence of  Arabia

As I said, she never married but she could be considered a mother
because she had what she called her "adopted son", Lt.Col. Thomas Edward
Lawrence, otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia! She reared him like he
was her own son, guided and coached him, and introduced him to influential
people. Lawrence of Arabia said of this woman, who was 20 years his senior,
that she was "no different from my mother. Everything I know I learned from

The Saudi King, who demolished the Ottoman fortress Ecyad at Mecca and
who summoned our President and Prime Minister to his hotel to pin medals
on them at his feet, has had the house in Jidda where Lawrence stayed
restored, with a plaque that reads: "this house was the headquarters for
Lawrence, who helped us in our war against the Turks."  In any event,
in 1935, at age 46, Lawrence of Arabia died in a motorcycle accident in
England. His life was made into a film in 1962 and won Oscars in seven
categories, including best director. The movie has been saved in the
National Film Archive by the U. S. Library of Congress because of  its

And you may have read that Peter O'Toole, who played Lawrence in the
film, died the other day. But this isn't The End. On the contrary, it's
beginning again because now Gertrude Bell's life is being brought to the
screen in "Desert Queen", directed by Werner Herzog. The filming began
this month and Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman is playing the role of
Gertrude Bell. Actually, British director Ridley Scott was planning to
make the film and had, in fact, agreed with Angelina Jolie but Werner
Herzog was quicker on the draw.

So in a film about Gertrude Bell, there must be a role for Lawrence and
there is, of  course. Who will play Lawrence? Robert Pattinson, the
young fellow in the Twilight serious about vampires. Get your popcorn
ready. The Lawrence of our generation has died but the Y generation's
awrence is being born. Actors change but the scenario remains the same.
Making films on this land  (Ottoman Empire) will never end.

16 Aralık 2013 Pazartesi

Wrath of Kaans: My Pretty Face!

wrath links to original article

(Hurriyet and Milliyet Newspapers, 16 December 2013)

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

In Marmaris, Mugla province, actor Kaan Urgancioglu came
out from the Back Street Bar and said hello to a passing girl.
As a result, Urgancioglu got into an argument with the girl's
boyfriend, prompting the bar's bouncer, Huseyin S. Kaan, to
head-butt, kick and punch Urgancioglu.

According to a report from the forensics lab, all this left a scar
on Urgancioglu's face. Nevertheless, Urgancioglu did not file
a complaint against Kaan but the public prosecutor did, requesting
a jail sentence of 5 years. From Istanbul, Urgancioglu sent a
statement, asserting that although suspect Kaan was not involved
in the (girl/boyfriend) incident, Kaan head-butted him, leaving a
scar on Urgancioglu's forehead.

Urgancioglu reiterated in his statement that he would not file a
complaint against Kaan and he left the disposition of the case
to the court's discretion. Urganciolu added that he incurred no
hospital expenses but the company producing the TV show he
has a role in could not shoot that day, resulting in a loss for the
firm, which Kaan's company did not cover.

The court ordered that Urgancioglu's statement be forwarded to
the court hearing the case.
Marmaris is on the central coast of Muglu.

15 Aralık 2013 Pazar

Yet Another 'With Friends Like This...' Espisode

burn links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 15 December 2013)

What are friends for?...

Mehmet Nurettin Gulsum (29), the nephew of the Diyarbakir
Shopkeeper and Artists Union chief Alican Ebedinoglu and the
father of two children, worked for 10 years as the records clerk
at the Union. Seven months ago, Gulsum sold his wife's bracelets
and obtained some credit with the aim of buying a house. After
putting together about 200,000 TL, Gulsum was just about ready
to purchase when his childhood friend Askeri A. suggested
"let's put the money to work."

Gulsum abandoned his home-buying plans and gave the money
to someone Askeri A. knew at the tractor driver market to increase
the yield. However, pressure from his wife forced Gulsum to ask
Askeri A. for the money back four months ago. The two argued
about the matter but Gulsum did not get his money.

Last 26 November, Askeri A. went to Gulsum's office and told him
that "the guy who'll give you the money is waiting for us in the
village."  The two set out in Gulsum's car and when they approached
Erimli village Askeri A. and two waiting friends forced Gulsum from
the car and shot him in the head with a hunting rifle.

Askeri A. put Gulsum's body back into the car and hatched a plan.
He went to a gas station and told the attendant there that he was
"Out of gas. Stuck on the road.", as he purchased a container of gas.
Taking the car to an area famous for Molotov cocktail attacks and
roadblocks, Askeri A. doused Gulsum's car with gas and set it afire
in order to give the appearance of a terrorist attack.

But Askeri A. burned his own hand and face in the effort and for this
reason he did not attend Gulsum's funeral. When Gulsum's loved ones
noticed that his best friend had not come to the funeral they became
suspicious and informed police. By checking surveillance videos, police
were able to observe Askeri A. buying the gas and taking the car to the
scene of the burning.

Askeri A. was arrested and jailed. Two other suspects are being sought.

Diyarbakir and environs.

14 Aralık 2013 Cumartesi

Academia Hits Bottom: !*&$#@!$ Controversy

exclamation point! links to related article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 14 December 2013)

Punctuational combatants (not sure who's who)

An inquiry was launched at Akdeniz University in Antalya
against Prof. Dr. Orhan Kuruuzum, a member of the school's
Economic and Administrative Sciences (IIBF), because he
whistled a refrain from a Turkish folk song while walking through
the faculty corridor with a glass of tea in his hand.

The refrain was from the song 'Halimem' from the Bolu region of
Turkey and the words go as follows: "It snowed on the lowly, didn't
you feel the cold? Didn't you think about how this would end up?"
As the result of the inquiry, 100 TL was deducted from Kuruuzum's
salary. The senior Turkish education authority YOK, however, ruled
that Kuruuzum had not had a chance to defend himself and YOK
voided the penalty.

A local court also voided the salary deduction. Nevertheless, IIBF
Dean Prof. Dr. Safak Aksoy sent Kuruuzum a warning letter. In
response, Kuruuzum sent Aksoy a letter on 29 March 2010, which
contained only exclamation points, commas and question marks.
Aksoy considered this punctuational response to be an insult so he
opened another inquiry, resulting in 100 TL being deducted from
Kuruuzum's salary (again!).

A high court ultimately ruled that the punctuational letter did not
constitute an insult and, consequently, there was no basis for a
case against Kuruuzum.

11 Aralık 2013 Çarşamba

Fake Interpol, FBI Agents Shake Down Istanbul

Interpol links to original article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 10 December 2013)

Under deep cover for Interpol.

A large number of tractor trailer drivers coming to the
Erenkoy Customs Directorate in Istanbul have complained
to police about a person identifying himself as an Interpol
policeman and shaking them down for money.

A Pakistani named Huseyin Ali Siyed was caught red-handed
by real police as he searched a heavy-duty tow truck. The fake
ID card that Siyed used to scam the drivers was seized by police.
Siyed bilked six drivers out of 25,000 Euros before being arrested.


FBI  links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 10 December 2013)

Fake G-Man with a bum arm (and caper)

Three Iranians who identified themselves as FBI agents in various
districts of Istanbul and took money from individuals during
searches, have been arrested. In the first incident, in Gungoren, two
people showing 'FBI ID's'  shook down Mehmet C.I.(39) for 2,000 TL.
In a similar incident in Merter on 6 November, two people posing as
FBI agents stopped Syrian  Sayed N.E. (28) and took 8,500 USD from

On 16 November, again in Gungoren, the suspects stopped and frisked
Dincer T. (26), taking 300 TL from him before fleeing. Police teams
have captured the phony agents, who had entered Turkey illegally.
Nevertheless, the suspects were released pending trial.

10 Aralık 2013 Salı

'Inappropriate' Lighting Makes Them Blush

inappropriate links to original article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 6 December 2013)

Well, it does sort of look like that...

The lighting on a building attached to a giant shopping
center that opened recently on Sarampol Avenue in
Antalya's Tahil Pazar neighborhood, has created a crisis.
Some people have asserted that the shape the lights display
on the wall is obscene and they have complained to neighborhood
chief Bayram Korkmaz.

With regard to these complaints, Chief Korkmaz had this to say:
"They called my office and said that 'the moving shapes on the
building resemble a penis and its making us uncomfortable.' At
first I thought someone was playing a joke on me over the phone.
I never imagined I'd get such a complaint about a shopping center.
And I didn't think the complaint was sensible, either. Nevertheless,
I directed the complainants to the Antalya governor's and district
chief's offices.

esthetic issues in Antalya

8 Aralık 2013 Pazar

Fast & Furious: Backhanded Compliment

fast links to related article

(Milliyet Newspaper, 7 December 2013)

//ed. note: see blog item of  5  December 2013 for
reporting on Denizli's own 'Fast & Furious'.//

Distributing tasty cakes for safe driving.

In Denizli, Ender Yurdakul runs a drivers education course
and he made lokma (a small,round, syrupy friedcake) to honor
the memory of U.S. film star Paul Walker, who died in a traffic
accident. Yurdakul set up a stand next to his office on Gazi
Boulevard to distribute 1,000 pieces of lokma for Paul Walker's
sake, hanging photographs of Walker all around.

Yurdakul loved Paul Walker and was a big fan. He expressed
his thoughts as follows: "We're all grieving from the loss of
the Paul Walker we knew from the 'Fast & Furious' films. We
did this lokma distribution for the sake of the deceased. Our
main aim is to draw attention to honoring traffic rules and NOT
using a vehicle at high speed."

Denizli province, where careless driving is kids stuff!

7 Aralık 2013 Cumartesi

Nigerian Scams American via Istanbul

scam links to related article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 6 December 2013)

Have I got a deal for you!

David Holmes, said to live in Nigeria, met American Cherly
Allmen on Facebook and they became friends. As their friendship
advanced Holmes asked Allmen for money at various times with
the promise that "you'll make even more money." Holmes said it
was necessary for Allmen to send the money to another Nigerian,
named Wisdom Efe Onokpite, in Istanbul.

Allmen sent a total of 524,000 USD but became suspicious and
informed the FBI. Concurrently, officials at the American Consulate
General in Istanbul informed Anti-Financial Crimes Office in
Istanbul. American officials in Istanbul also alerted the bank in
Mecidiyekoy, Istanbul, where Allmen's money had been sent.

Finance police took Onokpite into custody the day before yesterday
when he came to the bank to withdraw Allmen's most recent
transfer of 200,000 USD. The Nigerian was charged with "willful
fraud" and "falsification of official documents" but claimed that
he was sending textile products to Allmen in exchange for the money.
Onokpite also said that he used a fake passport for commercial

5 Aralık 2013 Perşembe

Fast and Furious Driver, One Bad Dude

maniac links to original article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 5 December 2013)

H.H.K's road-rage victim Yahya Cicek.

In Denizli, high school student Yahya Cicek (14) warned
driver H.H.K. (29) not to drive so fast. In response, H.H.K.
beat up Cicek, who went home and told his father Yakup Cicek (39)
about the incident. Yakup Cicik and his brother Metin Cicek (35)
then went to H.H.K.'s home to discuss the matter but the result was
a clash that took Yahya's life and left his father and uncle seriously

The incident occurred on Second Avenue in the Binevler neighborhood
on Tuesday evening around 6 PM.  Yahya Cicek, a student at 75th
Year Commercial High School, was chatting with his friends near a
park when H.H.K. went speeding by in his car. The boys signaled to H.H.K.
to slow down and  H.H.K. got out of his car to beat up Yahya Cicek.

After going home to tell his father Yakup about the incident, Yahya, his
father and uncle Metin Cicek went to H.H.K.'s home. Seeing the visitors
approaching his home, H.H.K. came outside with a hunting rifle and the
argument turned into an armed clash. Allegedly, Metin opened fire with
his revolver and H.H.K. answered with shot after shot from his rifle.

The buckshot hit Yahya in the midsection and his father attempted to take
him to the hospital in his car. H.H.K., however, continued firing at the
vehicle, seriously wounding both Yakup and Metin Cicek. Police are now
searching everywhere for H.H.K., who was involved in a murder in 2001
and served time in prison. After his release he was implicated in other
crimes and sentenced to eight more years in jail. H.H.K. was captured on
1 November and placed in Saraykoy Open Prison, from which he escaped
on 4 November.

Denizli province.

4 Aralık 2013 Çarşamba

Drunk Driver Samaritan May Get Off

drunkdriver links to original article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 3 December 2013)

Sure I'm drunk but I'm on a mission of mercy!

In Zonguldak, a driver who was transporting an injured
person to a hospital was stopped at a traffic checkpoint
and found to be drunk. The driver was fined and his car
was impounded.

Zeki K. set out in his car in Eregli district of Zonguldak
province to take a relative who had fallen down steps to the
hospital. However, when Zeki K. reached a police traffic checkpoint
he was stopped and given an alcohol breath-test despite the fact that
he was urgently transporting the accident victim. Zeki K.'s alcohol
blood-content registered at 137 promil.

Because Zeki K. had previously been convicted of drunk driving,
his license was suspended for two years, he was fined 877 TL (435
USD) and his car was impounded. Zeki K. explained to the police
that he was transporting Arzu Ibragimova's daughter Cemile (22)
to the hospital. The police then took the injured young woman
and her mother to the hospital.

Lawyer Zeki Bulgan (no relation to Zeki K.) noted that under Turkish
law 25/2, there is a exception clause to the effect that in dire
circumstances, if there is no other driver available and the injured
person is in a life-threatening situation, then the penalties imposed
(for drunk driving) can be voided. 

Eregli district in blue.

3 Aralık 2013 Salı

Exhibitionist's Audience Pans Performance

naked links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 2 December 2013)

Turkey's 'Buck Naked'

In Bayrampasa, Istanbul, H.Y. has been continuously coming
out naked on his balcony and harassing women in the building
directly opposite with his actions. The woman in the neighborhood
have filed a complaint with the public prosecutor and the charge
from three of them who live on Ediz Street in the Muratpasa
neighborhood is quite interesting.

According to the women's complaint, their neighbor H.Y., who lives
in the building across from them, continually roams his home in the
buff, comes out onto his balcony and makes inappropriate gestures
toward the women. The proscecutor has begun an investigation into
this unusual complaint.

In her statement to the police, one of the women stated that "for some
time our neighbor across the way has been coming out stark naked onto
his balcony and when my curtains are open I see this. It makes me feel
very uncomfortable. I didn't tell my husband so he wouldn't go over there
and get into a fight. When I found out that two of my neighbors were
also uncomfortable with this situation we decided to file the complaint.
Most recently, on 17 November, I saw the suspect while I was working
in my kitchen. Again he was naked and when he realized I saw him he
began playing with his "package". I immediately closed the curtains and
went inside. This situation has created a very depressing mood for me and
my neighbors, psychologically."

The prosecutor applied to the Family Court for restrictive measures. In
response, the court has ordered H.Y. to stay 10 meters away from the
complaining women and desist in making inappropriate gestures toward
them. H.Y. is forbidden from approaching the women for one month and,
meanwhile, the prosecutor is continuing with his investigation.

2 Aralık 2013 Pazartesi

With Friends Like This, Be Careful

friend links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 30 November 2013)

I'm in the money now!

In Muratpasa district of Antalya province, Engin Yurtseven,
who works at a parking lot, applied for 60,000 TL (30K USD)
in credit from a bank in order to buy a motorcycle and car he
found on the internet. Last Monday, Yurtseven and his friends
Murat Ozkan and Ozgur Sari went to the bank and got the money.

However, because the notary was closed that day Yurtseven
couldn't close the deal for the vehicles. So the three friends set
off in Sari's car to tour around. At this point Sari said "I'll never
see this much money again" and he asked his pals to take a picture
of him holding the money, which Murat Ozkan did.

The three friends stopped at a motorcycle accessories store and
as Yurtseven and Ozkan shopped, Sari stayed in the car. But when
the two returned from the store Sari, the car and the money were
all gone. Sari did not answer his phone but sent a message a bit
later explaining that he had gotten into an accident some distance

Yurtseven and Ozkan realized at this point that hey had been
duped by their friend, who had previously been involved in fraud
incidents. They filed a complaint with the police. Ozkan, noting
how angry he and Yurtseven were at Sari, stated that "he asked me
to take a picture of him holding the money. It's a good thing I did
because we were able to use this photograph when we filed our
complaint against him."

Muratpasa is between Antalya city and its airport.

28 Kasım 2013 Perşembe

When You Don't Read the Fine Print

hoodwinked links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 18 November 2013)

Sold a bill of goods...

In Izmir, Gurbet Uzun (36) met accountant Erol Ture in a
coffee house in 2006. Promising to get insurance for Uzun,
Ture asked Uzun for his identity card. Shortly afterwards,
Ture said "your insurance is all set, you have to sign." and
he took Uzun to a notary.

Grade school graduate Uzun signed a number of documents
without reading them but, in any event, he was glad to have
finally gotten insurance so he thanked Ture. However, a while
later Uzun was shocked when he began getting payment notices
and tax bills mailed to his home address.

Uzun took the notices and tax bills to Ture asking "what's with
these debt notices? What's going to happen?"  In response, Ture
said "Come on, let's take care of it all." So Ture took Uzun to
the notary again and had him sign more documents.

As a result, Uzun has been shuttling from court to court for seven years.
Because 13 companies were set up in his name he has a debt of nearly 20
million TL and he has been slapped with a 12 prison sentence by the Izmir
court for allegedly forging a receipt. Uzun has objected to the rulings and
the case files have gone to a higher court. But if that court approves the
Izmir court's decision Uzun will have to serve 12 years in prison.

A (bewildered and) jobless Uzun explained that "if I really had all
these companies I wouldn't be in this situation. I can't even pay the 30 TL
electric bill for my home. I'm not working and my green card (for Turkish
government social services) has been cancelled because of the lawsuits.
I can't get any help from the district chief's office either."  

27 Kasım 2013 Çarşamba

Fate Plays a Very Cruel Name Game

fate links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 26 November 2013)

Hilal Bacaksizoglu
In Kadıköy, Istanbul, architect Hilal Bacaksızoğlu was tryıng to
board a double-decker bus as it was leaving the bus stop but she
fell under the bus. After the incident Bacaksızoğlu's mangled leg
had to be amputated at the hospital from the knee down.

Bacaksızoğlu, who is a council member of the Architects Hearth
Izmir bureau, ran after the double-decker bus that operates on the
Alt Kaynarca-Pendik-Kadıköy route, as it began to pull away. The
bus hit Bacaksızoğlu, she fell to the ground and under the bus's front
wheel. Her left leg was amputated at the hospital.

Bacaksızoğlu stated that "the driver changed direction and I fell under."
She has filed a complaint about Ayaz (evidently the bus driver.)

//ed. note: 'bacak' means 'leg' in Turkish. 'bacaksiz' means 'without
leg'. 'bacaksizoglu' means 'son of legless one'. See blog item of 11
August 2013 for a similar name twist of cruel fate.//

26 Kasım 2013 Salı

Crime Doesn't Pay, This Time Anyway

mugger links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 25 November 2013)

Do the crime, do the time - eternity.

In Izmir, a mugger who stole a young woman's bag
after threatening her with a broken beer bottle in the
elevator of an overpass, died when he was hit by a
car as he fled across a street. When police answered
a call on the mugger's cellphone the incident was revealed.

The night before last, Ayse Aslan (21) wanted to descend
from the overpass on Anadolu Boulevard in Bayrakli in an
elevator. Construction worker Ali Ihsan Serin, married and
the father of one child, followed Aslan into the elevator.
Serin pressed the broken beer bottle against Aslan's neck but
she resisted. When the elevator stopped on the ground Serin
was able to pull away Aslan's pocket book, containing 1,000 TL
and her cellphone.

As Serin fled toward Altinyol he was hit by a car headed toward
Karsiyaka, driven by Halit Kivanc (26), and seriously wounded.
Serin could not be saved at the hospital but police there answered
his ringing telephone. The caller was Ali Aslan, who explained to
police that the phone belonged to his daughter, a mugging victim.

When it was realized that the accident victim was mugger Serin,
Ayse Aslan  and her father went to the Bayrakli police station, where
Ayse said that "the attacker took my bag. Since there wasn't anyone
around I went home and told my father."

Bayrakli is in Karsiyaka district of Izmir city.