30 Temmuz 2012 Pazartesi

Turkish Slaves in Wreck Near SF?

original article unavailable at this time

//ed note: this is one of our blog's occasional forays into
the world of historical esoterica. The San Agustin was
wrecked near Drake's Bay, north of San Francisco, in
November 1595//

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 29 July 2012)

Spanish maritime history records that the Spanish
galley San Agustin sank in the area of San Francisco
in the 1590's. During these same years there is
information from the logs of Cuba's port of Havana
regarding the San Agustin, probably the same ship
that wrecked near San Francisco.

It seems that 44 Ottoman sailors captured by the
Spanish during the naval battles of the Mediterranean
Sea were on this ship. This supposition is based on
the masters thesis of a young Cuban academician
named Yana Brossard Reyes, entitled 'Events That
Built a Bridge Between the Ottoman Empire and
Cuba', in which Reyes writes the following:

''The first Turks to set foot on Cuban soil were Ottoman
galley slaves. We know about the Turkish galley slaves
coming to the island  from the log of the Spanish
galley San Agustin. The names of the slave rowers,
their physical description and where they came from
were written carefully in the log. For example, there
were 44 Moslem galley slaves listed on the San Agustin.''

Yana Brossard Reyes lists the names in Spanish, increasing
the excitement of readers of his thesis, which has the feel
of a novel. He continues as follows:

''Because of the differences in Turkish pronunciation the
names have naturally been significantly altered but it is
nevertheless possible to discern some of them, such as
Midillili Hüseyin, Eğribozlu Ramazan and Mehmed,
Anadolulu Yusuf, Gelibolulu İbrahim, Anadolulu Recep,
Hüseyin, Ali, Veli, İbrahim and Karadenizli Turgut. There
is no information, though, about the slaves' subsequent

''One wonders whether Anadolulu Recep, Hüseyin, Ali,
Veli and their friends succeeded in staying in Cuba.
Or were they among those who lost their lives when
the San Agustin wrecked. Perhaps some of them made
it to shore...and started new lives for themselves in a
town near San Francisco and succeeded, or failed. Maybe
none of the above.''

''What do you say to this fantastical ending: After many
years some of the Turkish slaves made it back home and
Karadenizli Turgut was one of them and he was from
Arhavi. Arhavili İsmail was Turgut's descendant.''

//ed. note: Arhavi is on the Black Sea coast near the Georgian
border. Arhavi İsmail is mentioned in a poem by Nazim
Hikmet regarding the Turkish War of Indenpendence.//

26 Temmuz 2012 Perşembe

Brothers Gone to the Dogs

dogs links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 26 July 2012)

In Mustafakemalpaşa, Bursa, a home owner who
wouldn't hand over his poorly cared-for dogs
resisted police and officials with rocks. About 50
dogs were being raised in the garden of the home
of four brothers in Atariye neighborhood, making
life miserable for the neighbors.

Police went to the house last week after the neighbors
complained but they couldn't retrieve the dogs when
they met with the brothers' resistance.  Yesterday
morning a 40-person team from the Osmangazi
Municipality and a fire truck went to the house to
get the dogs in order to put them in a shelter.

Refiye, Süleyman and Hakan Tunçer were at the
house at the time and threw rocks at the police
who wanted to round up the dogs. Ultimately,
police used force to enter the house, tranquilized
the dogs and took them to a shelter. Subsequently
the house was fumigated by a municipal team.

Charmed Life Cut Short

charmed links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 25 July 2012)

Nevin Mendilli and Mustafa Gönen

In Yüreğir, Adana, battered wife Nevin Mendilli
(45) heard three years ago that Mustafa Gönen (55)
could write a charm and break a curse so she went
to his house and asked him to write a charm that
would make her husband Ibrahim Mendilli(49)

Nevin Mendilli developed a friendship with Gönen
based on the pretext that she wanted the charm
written. She told him that 'your breath is powerful,
it sooths me' and invited him to her house. Shortly
thereafter the two lovers decided to kill Ibrahim
Mendilli with rat poison.

But Nevin Mendilli couldn't bring herself to kill
her husband during the holy month of Ramazan.
Nevertheless, Gönen went to the Mendilli house
and stabbed Ibrahim to death.

24 Temmuz 2012 Salı

Donkey Eats Berries, Death Ensues

life links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 24 July 2012)

The late Fahrettin Başkurt

In Atalak village of Çüngüş district, Diyarbakır, Cabir
Koç and his wife and children spread the mulberries they
had collected from the trees in their garden on a sheet
to dry. They then went into their house but a short while
later a donkey belonging to the Başkurt family entered
the garden and ate the mulberries.

Cabir Koç saw this and went to the home of Mahmut
Başkurt where an argument erupted, subsequently
becoming an all-out fight with bats and sticks. Mahmut
Başkurt and his wife Nazlı Başkurt were injured in
the fight, during which Cabir Koç allegedly fired his
revolver. One bullet hit Fahrettin Başkurt (22), a
student at Istanbul Marmara University's Fine Arts
department, in the stomach and he died en route to the

The Gendarmerie imposed strict security measures in
the village and Cabir Koç was arrested.

22 Temmuz 2012 Pazar

Supergramps Waterlogged But Happy

süperdede links to related article

(Milliyet and Hürriyet Newspapers, 22 July 2012)

Remzi Öztürk (80) lives in the Cünürye neighborhood
of İnebolu district in Kastamonu province. He went
into the sea in front of his house and swam two kilometers
out while Sadiye Öztürk, his wife, watched with binoculars
from their house's balcony. After six hours Remzi had
still not returned so when Sadiye saw her husband
waving his arms she panicked, thinking he was in trouble.

Sadiye notified the Coast Guard command and a team
was dispatched in a dingy. The team reached Remzi but
he refused to get in the dingy and instead swam back to
shore. Remzi explained that 'I was waving to my wife
on the balcony. She thought I was drowning and asking
for help.' A sailor for 60 years, Remzi said that he
floats and sleeps on the water surface for a rest.

After Fine, They Torch Own Bus

s-plate links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 20 July 2012)

In Bursa, the decision to prevent 'S-plate' minibusses
from outlying districts from entering the city has
produced irritation which turned into an protest
after a summons was issued. The day before yesterday
police stopped an 'S-plate' vechile carrying factory
workers from Harmancık district. Police issued a 60-
day ban on the vechicle and its owners Suphi Çetin,
his son Vedat Çetin and nephew Erkan Çetin. In
addition the driver got a 1,950 TL ticket.

In response, the Çetin family members set the bus
aflame with gasoline after getting all the passengers
off. The three Çetin's threw rocks at firefighters
who arrived on the scene, in an effort to prevent
them from dousing the flames. All three were taken
into custody. Suphi Çetin stated that they torched
the bus in reaction to the fine and he said 'they're
not letting us work, claiming we're pirates. They
gave us a 1,000 lira fine. I'm fed up!'

20 Temmuz 2012 Cuma

Wife Feels Wrath of Hungry 'Sultan'

sultan links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 19 July 2012)

'Sultan' Zülfikar (in happier times...)

In Fatih, Istanbul, Mahmur Karakule (19) was
stabbed 47 times by her common-law husband
Zülfikar Bakıryapan (24). The murder took place
half an hour after midnight yesterday in the second
floor apartment on Esnafloncası Street in Balat.

Bakıryapan, who has a police record for five separate
instances of robbery and narcotics crimes, has lived
with Karakule for seven years and constantly beat her.
Yesterday the violence turned into a knife attack when
Karakule didn't prepare the meal Bakıryapan requested.
He then grabbed a knife and stabbed her.

Bakıryapan brought the weapon he used for the crime
and his two children (5 and 1.5 years old), in front of
whom he murdered Karakule, to the police station and
turned himself in. After his confession Bakıryapan was
brought to the crime scene where he was confronted with
the lifeless body of Karakule, bearing the 47 stab wounds.
The woman's body was first brought to Vakıf Gureba
Hospital and then to the morgue at the Forensic Medicine

A neighbor lamented that 'the girl has been suffering with
that guy since she was 14 years old, living in torture.
Perhaps she's now at peace in her grave.'

18 Temmuz 2012 Çarşamba

Grim Work For Superdogs

canines links to original article
(Hürriyet and Sözcü Newspapers, 18 July 2012)

Kuki and Garbi

In Izmir, Kuki, obtained from a refuse-collecting child,
and Garbi, an unwanted dog donated to the police, underwent
intense training to become two of only four body-sniffing
canines in Turkey. However, when the trainers of the dogs,
which are sent all over Turkey to search for bodies, were
transferred this became a problem for the police.  The
solution was to assign both Kuki and Garbi to the Criminal
Office Directorate in Ankara.

Kuki, a 5 year-old Cocker assigned to the Izmir Crime Scene
Directorate, was found in the possession of a refuse collector
by policeman Zafer Damar, an eleven-year veteran whose
last sniffer dog died. Damar arranged with a veterinarian to
nurse Kuki back to health and then trained the canine for
sniffer service. Kuki had a year of training in Izmir and four
months of it in Ankara at the dog taining center. For four
years Kuki has been the police's best body-sniffer.

Garbi, a 3 year-old German Shepherd, was donated to police
because his owner couldn't care for him. Garbi was trained by
police officer Resul Orhan and has worked for a year and a
half sniffing for bodies like Kuki. Both dogs are sent all over
Turkey to search for bodies but they are very close to their
trainers and require constant re-training. So when Damar was
assigned to Şırnak and Orhan to Şanlıurfa, Kuki and Garbi's
situation was put in jeopardy.

The dogs had successes like finding the body of murdered shoe
magnate Tuncay Güngör buried in a rice field in Susurluk, Balıkesir;
discovering the buried bodies of  murder victims Mehmet Özer
and Fevzi Aluç; and finding the buried body parts of Sevgi Taşkin,
who was murdered and cut up by her boyfriend in Bursa.

Kuki and Garbi will henceforth have new trainers in Ankara and
after they bond with them they'll get refresher training and head
back to work.

17 Temmuz 2012 Salı

When Good Grooms Go Bad

groom links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 15 July 2012)

Osman Iren (22) of  Karaman, went to the parental
home of his estranged wife, who left him because
of extreme incompatibility, with his mother
Teslime (50) and his father Ali Osman Iren (52),
with the idea of  reconciling. When he found that
his wife was not at the house Iren forced his wife's
aunt Halime Çiçek (30), whom he deemed responsible
for the break-up, into his car and sped off with his
parents in the car, as well.

However, Iren lost control of the car at the entrance
to Osmaniye village and the vehicle fell off a bridge
six meters below. Iren, his mother Teslime Iren and
his wife's aunt Halime Çiçek died at the scene and
his father Ali Osman Iren passed away en route to
the hospital.

16 Temmuz 2012 Pazartesi

Nail-biting Hospital Sojourn

nail links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 15 July 2012)

Nail bits went into the eye of a  worker at a furniture
workshop in Sultangazi, Istanbul, and it is alleged
that he spent seven hours passing through seven
hospitals. Ihsan Elbir (26) suffered the eye accident
the day before yesterday around noon and was taken
to a nearby private hospital where he received initial

His friends then took him to Bayrampaşa Eye Hospital,
İstanbul University Çapa Medical Center, Haseki
Training and Research Hospital, Beyoğlu Eye Hospital
and Haydarpaşa Model Training and Research Hospital,
from where Elbir was sent to yet another private hospital.

Health Minister Recep Akdağ has ordered an investigation
into the incident.

15 Temmuz 2012 Pazar

Fall-Off-The-Roof Hot!

roof links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 14 July 2012)

At Diyarbakır's Dicle University Hospital 349 people
have been treated for injuries as the result of falling off
rooves, where they sleep in the hot weather, during the
past two months. Of these four have died. The hospital's
chief doctor, Prof. Dr. Sait Alan stated that after researching
the issue they found that last summer a total of 3,349
people fell off rooves in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia.

Dr. Alan added that falls from rooves happen with the
most frequency in Mardin, Siirt, Batman, Şanlıurfa,
Dıyarbakır, Adıyaman and Bingöl provinces. He noted
that so far this year in these provinces about 2,000 people
have fallen off rooves and that by the end of September
this amount will have doubled.

13 Temmuz 2012 Cuma

Yogi Bear's Dark Side

bear links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 11 July 2012)

In Aynalıkale village of Aziziye district, Erzurum, Mevlüt
Dilekçi (44) took his 30 animals out to graze on 6 July.
Suddenly he was injured by a large rock thrown at him from
behind as he sat by a stream. When he turned around Dilekçi
saw a bear but since he couldn't get up he called the Gendarmerie
on his cellphone and pleaded 'save me from the bear!'

The Gendarmerie requested a helicopter ambulance from Erzurum
and determined Dilekçi's whereabouts from the cellphone signal.
Dilekçi was then taken to Erzurum where it was determined that
his ribs and lungs had been injured. He was released from the
hospital yesterday after four days in intensive care.

Dilekçi explained the incident thusly: 'I called the Gendarmerie
and said 'the bear's going to eat me!' I was all alone in the
mountains, at the mercy of the bear. If the helicopter had come
half an hour later the bear would have eaten me. The helicopter
came just in time.'

12 Temmuz 2012 Perşembe

Snake-killer Pays the Price

snake links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 11 July 2012)

In Eskişehir, Hasan Mete, who is the chief of the worksite
at the Organized Industrial Sector on the Ankara Highway,
killed a poisonous 2.5 meter-long snake on the site grounds.
A witness to the incident informed the Eskişehir office of
the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry which fined Mete
300 TL for killing the snake. An official explained that 'he
should have informed us about the snake rather than killing
it. We would have taken it to the wild.'

7 Temmuz 2012 Cumartesi

Death by Sunbathing

tanning links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 6 July 2012)

In Kandıra, Kocaeli, there was an incredible incident.
An unidentified citizen who went into the water on the
Cebeci shore and then lay down to sunbathe was hit by
a vehicle driven by Mustafa Doğru of the Kocaeli
Municipality. First-responders to the accident were
the workers in the vehicle and a nearby ambulance.

The citizen was taken to Kandıra State Hospital but
despite all efforts he could not be saved. Mustafa Doğru,
the driver of the municipal vechicle that transports
lifeguards' jet-skis, was taken into custody by the

Efforts are underway to identify the 50'ish year-old citizen
who died while sunbathing. Gendarmerie officials stated that
the deceased was wearing a ring with the name 'Nevriye'
inscribed in it. The incident and the dead person's
description are being continually announced at mosques
in order to locate the unlucky fellow's relatives.

5 Temmuz 2012 Perşembe

Two-Places-at-Once Fotoshopping

double links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 4 July 2012)

Ramazan Filiz, who sent a life-size model of himself, based
on a full-length photograph, to the circumcision party
that he was unable to attend in Balıkesir, became an
internet sensation yesterday. And yesterday the man that
made Turkey laugh got together with his cut-out.

While posing with 'himself'', Filiz said that 'from now on
I'll send it to events I can't make.' Filiz had to attend a
relative's wedding in Bursa over the weekend so he hadn't
been able to go to his friend's son's circumcision in Dursunbey
district of Balıkesir. That's when he decided to try this novel
approach to attendance by sending a photo-statue of himself.

People who saw 'Filiz' in the hall where the circumcision party
took place said hello and asked him how he was doing. But
when the guests realized that the unanswering, far-away-looking
'Filiz' was a model they were both amazed and amused.

Filiz said he didn't expect that sending the cut-out instead of
going himself would attract so much attention but he added
that because of his idea his friend's son would have a circumcision
party to remember. He added that 'I'm going to start a new trend
and henceforth I'll send the cut-out to parties that I can't get to

2 Temmuz 2012 Pazartesi

Wedding Punch With a Kick, Too

wedding links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 2 July 2012)

In Kadıköy, Istanbul, the groom had an argument with
his intended and beat her first in the car and then in front
of the cafe where the wedding was to be held. The
families then went after each other with fists and kicks
so the wedding ended up in the police station.

According to shocked witnesses on Kadıköy's Rıhtım
Avenue, the situation developed as follows: the groom,
İ.Ö., set out in the car of bride-to-be C.A. en route to
the cafe on Rıhtım Avenue. On the way, C.A. said to
İ.Ö.  'your aunt gave me a phony bracelet at our
engagement party.'  In response, İ.Ö. said 'how can you
talk about my aunt that way!'  An argument ensued with
İ.Ö losing his self-control and beating C.A. When they
arrived at the cafe İ.Ö. continued to pummel C.A. and he
pulled out a gun as C.A.'s family tried to intervene.

İ.Ö's family then went after C.A.'s relatives, with the
inter-family battle spilling into the street. And although
İ.Ö.'s relatives tried to calm him down he slipped away
from them to resume beating the now-unconscious C.A.
unremittingly. The relatives and even some passers-by
tried to restrain İ.Ö. but without success.

Police from the Rıhtım Police Station arrived and put an
end to the fighting. Groom İ.Ö. and ten of the bride-to-be's
relatives were taken into custody and released after they
gave their statements.

1 Temmuz 2012 Pazar

Cop's Charisma Takes a Beating

charisma links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 1 July 2012)

Policeman Ali Rıza Gürbüz, who is assigned to the Bingöl
Security Directorate, took leave in Adana and went with
his uncle to a bar in Seyhan to have a good time. After
drinking for a while, at 1 AM Gürbüz summoned the
bar singer to his table. When she declined Gürbüz pulled
out his gun and fired two shots into the air.

Gürbüz then tried to leave the bar but was set upon by five
unidentified individuals who beat him up and took his
gun. Police arrived at the scene and after a search Gürbüz's
gun was found in a street behind the bar. Gürbüz was
treated in an ambulance and then admitted to a hospital.