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Old 16th October 2012, 13:44   #1 (permalink)
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English speaking Lawyer required in Bodrum, Urgent

4 years ago in 2008 whilst on holiday in Turkey my (then) girlfriend were involved in an incident which led to police involvement. We had an argument after one too many drinks and went our seperate ways. I returned to our apartments but my girlfriend stormed off. She threw her bag and it hit and scratched a parked vehicle. The owner appeared on the scene and began shouting and remonstrating to which she was shocked and told him to '**** off'. Within minutes the police had arrived and she was forcibly arrested and thrown into a police van where she was beaten and threatened with rape!
After a while I began to get concerned and I called her mobile phone, I was met with the sound of her crying and screaming and also Turkish men's voices laughing and shouting, I ran to find the nearest Turkish citizen I could find and handed him the phone, begging him to tell me what was going on. He told me she was at the police station, so I went there to find her. When I got there she was terrified and shaking, I tried to calm her down and apologise to the police saying we would reimburse the car owner for damages. My girlfriend was still in a state of shock and she got up from her seat and threw her handbag across the room, spitting on the floor as a gesture of disgust towards her treatment at the hands of the police. I got up to try and bring her back towards me and once again calm her down but the police pinned me down and beat me. We were held over night and forced, on fear of further beatings, to sign pre written statements. We were not offered legal assistance and the 'translator' provided was not a qualified translator and did not speak very good English. We also had to agree not to complain about the police. We were led to believe if we signed that would be the matter closed. It was not. We were handcuffed and taken to a medical centre where our injuries were checked, here the doctors reprimanded the police for our injuries. We were taken to a court building and put in front of a judge with the British consulate in attendance. We were fined around 1000. The British consulate advised us that if we did not have the money we did not have to pay, but we would not be allowed to return to Turkey for 5 years. As we did not have that amount of money we did not pay, we believed that our punishment was being banned from Turkey for 5 years. The owner of the car was also reimbursed for any damages to his vehicle, around 500. This is a true and honest account of what happened.

One week ago I received a phone call from the British police telling me that the Turkish authorities had been in contact and wanted us to be taken to court to give statements in regards to the above. We were subsequently sent copies of our statements taken in turkey, translated into English. The statements from the police accuse my (now) wife and I of: defamation towards the car owner, defamation towards the police, my wife is accused of hitting the police(not true!), I am accused of attempting to hit the police(again not true, I was beaten for nothing).
We have a young baby and are good people, what started as a drunken argument and minimal damage to a car then escalated into a much more serious incident, all because of the Turkish police. We are terrified about what is going to happen as no one from the British crown office can tell us exactly what the Turkish authorities are looking for from us. We do not have much money and we don't believe we have been treated fairly at all. My wife admits to damaging the car and defaming the car owner. She admits to defaming the police officer, but only because he beat her. I did nothing at all but was beaten.

Can someone please give me advice as to what the Turkish authorities want from us or if they have heard of similar cases. We are so worried.

Thank you.
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Old 16th October 2012, 13:50   #2 (permalink)
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re: English speaking Lawyer required in Bodrum, Urgent

Terrible.

Are you currently living in Turkey or England?
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Old 16th October 2012, 13:52   #3 (permalink)
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re: English speaking Lawyer required in Bodrum, Urgent

Bottom line is you need a solicitor who speaks both English and Turkish. Preferably Scottish based or at least one not living in the town where this happened.
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Last edited by Smiler; 16th October 2012 at 14:12.. Reason: Apologies...
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Old 16th October 2012, 14:10   #4 (permalink)
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re: English speaking Lawyer required in Bodrum, Urgent

In Scotland just now. Spoken to a solicitor who asked the crown office exactly what the Turkish authorities were looking for but they do not know. No one seems to know. My wife is worried sick and I'm very stressed by the whole situation.

Can anyone recommend a solicitor to speak to regarding this? We are fearful this is going to cost us thousands of pounds and/or result in a criminal record or extradition to turkey.
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Old 16th October 2012, 14:16   #5 (permalink)
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re: English speaking Lawyer required in Bodrum, Urgent

where about were you in Turkey when all of this took place?

There must be a record, and ongoing case information if they are now seeking statements from you

What a mess for you both
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Old 16th October 2012, 14:25   #6 (permalink)
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re: English speaking Lawyer required in Bodrum, Urgent

Did you tell the British Consulate at the time what had taken place and that you were forced to sign a statement. If you did it's a shame that the British Consulate didn't do more for you.

I wondering if you did report what happen to the British Consulate's representative did they take a statement from you, as it's possible they may still have a record of it. Maybe it be an idea to get them to send you a copy.

I don't think anyone can give you advice on what the Turkish court is looking for if the Crown Office has no knowledge.

Maybe the British Consulate's representative gave you wrong information telling you that you would just not be allowed back in Turkey for 5 years if you couldn't pay the fine.
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Old 16th October 2012, 14:27   #7 (permalink)
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re: English speaking Lawyer required in Bodrum, Urgent

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotssteve View Post
where about were you in Turkey when all of this took place?

There must be a record, and ongoing case information if they are now seeking statements from you

What a mess for you both
It was in Gumbet, Bodrum.

Has we known this would happen we would have paid the fine, we would have done anything to get it over with, but as we acted in good faith on the advice of the British consulate we believed the matter to be closed. No one explained anything else to us.

I would also argue the legality of statements pre written but supposedly given through a non qualified translator. This man spoke broken English at best, the police and judge spoke no English and neither me nor my wife speak Turkish. There was no communication by the looks of it.
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Old 16th October 2012, 14:28   #8 (permalink)
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re: English speaking Lawyer required in Bodrum, Urgent

I cant see a minor damage case being subject to extradition. So if you dont have property or permanent ties to Turkey just forget about it.
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Last edited by Mushtaq; 16th October 2012 at 15:56..
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Old 16th October 2012, 14:34   #9 (permalink)
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re: English speaking Lawyer required in Bodrum, Urgent

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzyq View Post
Did you tell the British Consulate at the time what had taken place and that you were forced to sign a statement. If you did it's a shame that the British Consulate didn't do more for you.

I wondering if you did report what happen to the British Consulate's representative did they take a statement from you, as it's possible they may still have a record of it. Maybe it be an idea to get them to send you a copy.

I don't think anyone can give you advice on what the Turkish court is looking for if the Crown Office has no knowledge.

Maybe the British Consulate's representative gave you wrong information telling you that you would just not be allowed back in Turkey for 5 years if you couldn't pay the fine.
We told the consulate in words and in the visual aid of our injuries, I also showed the judge.

The consulate have no record of it, I called them straight away, they don't keep records as long as 4 years unbelievably.

The consulate office said that anything the judge said would have been told to us through the consulate representative but it looks like there's been a miscommunication somewhere. We honestly believed our punishment to be a ban from the country which, believe me, was and is not an issue for us.

It's so frustrating as the crown doesn't seem able or willing to contact their Turkish counterpart and ask exactly what the issue is.
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Old 16th October 2012, 14:36   #10 (permalink)
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re: English speaking Lawyer required in Bodrum, Urgent

Quote:
Originally Posted by saoirse View Post
I cant see a minor damage case being subject to extradition. So if you dont have property or permanent ties to Turkey just forget about it.
If I thought that was an option I would. Gladly!

I would doubt it would lead to extradition, but then again I never thought such a minor incident would have blown up into such a nightmare in the first place.

Last edited by Mushtaq; 16th October 2012 at 15:57..
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