31 Mart 2015 Salı

Bahama Drama Swallows Two Guys from Mardin

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Milliyet and HaberTurk Newspapers, 31 March 2015)

Bahamalar’da 2 kayıp Dargecitli
                   Huseyin Ozkan and Veysi Oral

Veysi Oral (15) of Mardin, served as a Turkish army commando in
Tunceli province for 15 months and afterwards he worked in the
construction and textiles sectors. But Oral wanted to go abroad so
he looked on the internet and decided on the Bahama Islands (!).
Together with his cousin Huseyin Ozkan (36), they left Dargecit
district of Mardin on 20 February 2012 and flew to Havana, Cuba,
from Istanbul.

The pair stayed in Havana for five days before moving to the
Bahamas, but then they disappeared.  Their families have been
looking for them since 2012 but without a word from either of
them.  Last year, the Oral and Ozkan families' representative
Nayif Gumus asked the Kurdish BDP party for help. Gumus
explained to the BDP that Veysi and Huseyin had been met at
the Nassau airport by airport workers Kevin Giggins and Anton
Semor on 1 March 2012.

Image result for mardin haritasi
    Dargecit district is Mardin's easternmost.

The two cousins checked into the Royal Islander Hotel on 1
March. On the night of 9 March, Giggins's cousin Clement
Mackenzie picked up Veysi and Huseyin from the hotel and
they were never heard from again.  When Gumus went to
the hotel to find the pair, he claimed that Giggins had asked
him "did the guys want to sell their kidneys?"

In the latest development, the Miami police contacted the
families to report that Huseyin Ozkan's identity card had
been found in the ocean.  Veysi's older brother Yusuf Oral
lamented that "we think my brother was captured by gangs
that deal in organs, human trafficking and drugs."

  Image result for bahamas map

30 Mart 2015 Pazartesi

When Good Friends Go Bad, While Clubbing

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Sabah Newspaper, 30 March 2015)

Çanta çalan arkadaşa görüntülü şantaj
Senay C. kinda looks like she could get into some trouble...

Senay C. went to a night club in Kurucesme, Istanbul, on Sunday,
15 February to have fun, but instead she lost her handbag.  Senay
hanim, who is a public relations director, was able to obtain the
security camera video from the nightclub.  Then, when she saw that
her friend Berna M., with whom she was clubbing, had taken her
handbag off her chair and stuffed it into her jacket, she filed a

Berna M. defended herself, saying that she was drunk at the time
and took Senay's handbag by mistake.  However, in the video it
can be seen that Berna M. had her own handbag in her hand, too.

As the legal process proceeded, this time Berna M. filed her own
complaint about Senay, asserting that Senay had demanded 6,000 TL
(about $3,000) in  blackmail, otherwise Senay would post the images
of Berna M. stealing her handbag on the internet.  When Berna M.
refused to pay, Senay posted the images.

It has been determined that Senay shared the images on her Instagram
account, writing Berna M.'s name under the images. Both the theft
and the accusations of blackmail between the two have been folded
into the ongoing investigation.


 Image result for bosphorus map
Kurucesme is just a bit north of Besiktas on the Bosphorus.

29 Mart 2015 Pazar

School Daze: Cap & Gown Ban; Buddhist Temple

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Posta Newspaper, 29 March 2015)

Image result for pendik kep cubbe
    "Enough of this West-inspired madness!"

The district office of the National Education Ministry in Pendik,
Istanbul, has sent a letter to all private and public schools
announcing a ban on caps and gowns at graduation ceremonies.
District education chief Coskun Otluoglu explained the reason
for the ban as follows: "to avoid a clash of values and conflicts
between students." (!)

Additionally, in his letter Otluoglu stated that "our schools are
places where we nurture youth who have morals and good
character, and who adopt national and human values."  He
instructed school officials to take all necessary measures to
implement the cap and gown ban.

Mehmet Aydogan, head of the local teachers union Egitim Sen,
however, asserted that "this ban is aimed at distancing eduction
from the symbolic values of modern and secular teachings."

Although the practice of graduates throwing their caps in the air
at graduation is thought to be a Western tradition, there are those
who claim that it dates back to the Islamic civilization in Andalusia,
Spain.  According to this view, caps were thrown in the air for
the first time at Cordoba University 1,200 years ago. It is clear
that the Pendik education office has no knowledge of this.

                  Pendik district of Istanbul


turkce links to original Turkish article

(Posta and Sozcu Newspapers, 29 March 2015)

        Will do double-duty as ITU's multiplex...

The Rector of Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Mehmet Karaca,
has announced that a mosque will be built on campus in response
to requests from students.   Answering questions on the ITU24
internet site, Karaca said "Not just a mosque. If they want we'll build
a synagogue if enough requests come."

After Karaca said this, ITU students started a signature campaign
as follows: "our Rector, Mehmet Karaca, said he will build a mosque
because sufficient requests were received and that he'll build anything
else based on receipt of sufficient requests.  Therefore, we want a
Buddhist temple."

As of 1700 hours on 27 March, 5,858 related requests had been logged
on the Change.org internet site. Everyone is now wondering how
Rector Karaca will respond to this request for a Buddhist temple at ITU.

    Might be a clash of architectures...

28 Mart 2015 Cumartesi

Qatari Pays 100 Million Euros for Bosphorus Yali

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 28 March 2015)

//Correction: in our TNT report of a couple of days ago, about
Russians stealing historic treasures from Trabzon during their
WWI occupation (1916-1918) of the city, "497 hand-written 
Korans" were mentioned among the looted items. Upon further
analysis, TNT suggests that the actual meaning is "a hand-written
Koran from (the year) 497" (1081 A.D.) - probably the book 
pictured in the report.  The responsible TNT staff writer has 
been taken to the woodshed and docked a week's pay.//

       Not too shabby  for  100 million Euros...

Turkey's most expensive home, the Erbilginler Yalisi, has
been sold. The yali (waterside mansion), located in Yenikoy-
Sariyer, Istanbul, on the shores of the Bosphorus, was sold
for 100 million Euros and its new owner is the famous Qatari
businessman Abdulhadi Mana Ash Al-Hajri, the father of the
wife of Qatari Emir Shaikh Temim bin Hamad Al Sani.

The previous owner, Sani Mufit Erbilgin of ERG Construction,
refused to comment but company officials confirmed the sale.

The first owner of the Sehzade Burhanettin Efendi Yalisi,
which was built in the 1880's, was the famous moneychanger
Varki Vartaks.  When Vartaks died in 1887, Ahmet Munir Pasa,
an Ottoman government minister, bought it. In 1911 it was
purchased for Sehzade (Prince) Burhanettin by his father
Sultan Abdulhamit the Second.  The Prince's divorced wife,
Aliye Hanim, lived there for another 10 years.

When the Ottomans left Istanbul (upon the founding of the
Turkish  Republic), the yali passed to Misirli Ahmet Ihsan Bey
in 1923. For a time it was known as 'Misirlilar Yalisi' and it
was left to Ahmet Ihsan's children as an inheritance in 1946.
The Erbilginler family purchased the yali in 1985.

The yali is located at Yenikoy, up the Bosphorus  a bit.

27 Mart 2015 Cuma

Drugs Edition: Narco-Rat Whines; Baron's Escape Route

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 26 March 2015)

Meclis'e dilekçe: Hani benim uyuşturucu ikramiyem
Turkish Parliament weighs informant's pay problem.

A drug informant from Istanbul has appealed to the Turkish
Parliament for help, complaining that "my informant payment
wasn't paid." after he helped officials seize 5 kilograms of
bonzai and 8,000 ecstacy pills.  The informant, E.D., applied to the
Parliamentary Petition Commission without even concealing
his identity:

"Dear Chairman, I am a registered informant in the Istanbul
narcotics bureau but I am not getting the compensation I deserve
for the work and tips I've provided. According to the law, a portion
of the bonus for a successful tip should be paid to the informant
when the suspects appear in court and the rest of it after the
higher court process is completed. But even after the suspect
has been sentenced I have not received my bonus. Because I
appealed to you previously and filed a complaint with you,
I am not getting my bonus."

E.D. asked that his file be erased in the presence of Parliament
officials, since he did not want to continue as an informant if
he wasn't going to get paid for it.  In response to E.D.'s petition,
the Interior Ministry informed the Parliament that it was waiting
for an expert report to verify the purity of the drugs seized. The
Parliamentary Petition Commision decided to wait for this
report before taking any action.


turkce links to original Turkish article

(Hurriyet Newspaper, 27 March 2015)

//ed. note: herewith follow-up information of our TNT blog of
a couple of days ago about drug baron Dogan Alagoz's escape
from prison by having a fake, court discharge order faxed to the

Firar faksı 16.50’de çekilmiş
Opted for the scenic overland route for his departure from Turkey. 

Dogan Alagoz, who escaped from Silivri Prison outside Istanbul
by having a fake discharge order faxed to the prison, is the
brother-in-law of Halil Havar, nicknamed the "Magnificent Turk"
after he escaped by helicopter from a prison in Holland.

After being 'released' from Silivri Prison, Alagoz does not appear
to have left Turkey legally. Instead, it is claimed that he went
overland first to Iran, and from there to Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
Alagoz's telephone calls from these countries to contacts in Turkey
are the basis for this claim.

 Image result for orta asya haritasi
Drug baron said to have fled through Iran to Afghanistan and

26 Mart 2015 Perşembe

Turks Want Trabzon's Treasures Back from Russia

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Sabah Newspaper, 26 March 2015)

       How many Russians can read this anyway?

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has demanded that Russia return
historical works taken from Trabzon as the Russian Army withdrew
from the city after its 1916-1918 occupation during World War I.
A committee of experts from both countries has begun work in this

Veysel Usta, from the History Faculty of  Karadeniz (Black Sea)
Technical University, has researched the issue for 10 years and
determined that the Russians took works of art from libraries,
mosques, churches and homes and brought them back to Russia.

Among the treasure stolen were 497 hand-written Kurans,
candelabrum and a cover from the Gulbahar Hatun Tomb and
frescos from the Sumela Monastery and other churches. Usta
submitted his research to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism
three years ago.

When current President Tayyip Erdogan was Prime Minister
a year ago, he asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to return
the works.  Last month the Turkish Foreign Ministry officially
made a request to its Russian counterpart ministry to ensure the
return of the treasures.  After that, the expert committee was formed.

The process of returning the works will now begin.  Existing
treasures and those whose whereabouts are unknown will be
listed. Usta stated that "We have found an Ottoman document
from the 1920's concerning the return of the works. We are
now conducting the repatriation effort through the committee."

Image result for trabzon haritasi
              Trabzon province.