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  1. Taxi scams happen everywhere in the world. And generally, taxi drivers in Istanbul and the rest of Turkey aren't any more dishonest than anybody else. And in most parts of Turkey you will have no problems at all with taxi drivers. But some taxi drivers, especially around tourist areas in Istanbul and other touristy towns, will try to cheat you using various scams (sometimes more than one, and even during the same trip!). They are especially effective when you're tired from a long trip, not paying attention, and don't want any hassles. General Advice You can actually get around to most places in Turkish cities without taking a taxi. The public transportation system in Istanbul and most other cities in Turkey is first-rate, considerably cheaper, and often faster. Take a dolmuş, the city bus, a tram, the metro, or even a ferry instead. Istanbul and other large cities have airport transfer buses which will get you from the airport into town for around 20 TL. Take a photo of every taxi or write down it's number before you get in. Taxis have identification numbers on the license plates, on the sides, and even on the top. If you have to make a complaint or forget something, you'll be able to positively identify which taxi you were in. Have some smaller bills and coins to pay the exact fare. If you don't, ask the driver if he can change the bill that you have before you get in. It's best to have your hotel call a taxi for you. The more reputable hotels only do business with certain taxi stands, and the hotel clerk can also help settle any disputes you may have. After you arrive at your destination, get yourself and your luggage out of the taxi before even starting to deal with the fare. Fare Payment Scams Switching the Money This is probably the most common taxi scam. You hand the driver a 50-lira note. He switches it with a five-lira note, and then swears on his mother's grave that you gave him five lira instead of 50. What he'll switch your 50-lira note with is an older, but still in circulation, five-lira note which resembles a 50-Turkish-lira note. Hiding the Money You pay the driver four 20 Lira notes. He hides one and says you only gave him three. To counter these scams, hold up the money so both you and the driver can see it. Say something like "I am giving you 50 Lira." Make him acknowledge it. Don't give him the money until he has the change in his hand and is ready to give it to you. Make the exchange of your money and his change at the same time. "I don't Have Change." The driver owes you five lira in change, but produces only one lira, expecting you to accept that and let him drive away with four lira extra. If a driver tries this anywhere near a business, tell him you will wait for him to go get some change. Usually that will cause him to find more change. Asking for More Money or a Tip At the end of a taxi ride, having nothing else to lose, the driver may try to get even more money out of you. It is not customary to tip a taxi driver in Turkey. It is a routine thing to round up the fare a few lira (never more than five, and five is considered generous). But that is all. The only time you might tip a taxi driver is if he helps you with heavy baggage. In that case you might want to give a five-lira tip if he puts it on the curb, perhaps ten if he carries it inside a building for you. In fact, most taxi drivers will also round the fare down if it's within one or two lira. Refuse any requests for tips unless you want to give one. The Run-around All over the world, this is the oldest one in the book. The taxi driver will take you the long way, or in circles, to make the trip as long as possible and charge you as much as possible. Sometimes this isn't an effort to cheat you, but an effort to avoid traffic, construction, and one-way streets. Unfortunately there isn't any way to know this in advance. One way to avoid this scam is to know the typical fare from one place to another, so you know the approximate fare in advance. You can find links to the typical taxi fares from and to various places in Istanbul and Turkey in the External Links section below. Fixed Rate Scams Short Trips If the driver is offering you a fixed rate which would ordinarily be covered by the meter. He may be offering you a deal, or he may not be. For routine trips within the city, insist that the driver run the meter, and make sure he turns it on. If he says it is broken, then don't go with him. Offering a fixed price for what should be a routine, short trip is a good sign that the driver is trying to scam you. Longer Trips and Tours You should only take a taxi off-meter for trips to nearby out-of-town tourist sites. These routes will have regular prices posted on a sign at the taxi stand or in the taxi itself. In this case, a taxi can actually be a better option if you have a small group and consider the cost of a rental car, petrol, and the hassle involved otherwise. In fact, the taxi drivers will even wait for you while you explore a local sight, then bring you back to city center when you're finished. Late at Night Another time a fixed rate might benefit you is for a long trip within the city, at night when most taxi drivers are just sitting around waiting and hoping for a customer. If you already know the meter price from previous trips, you can bargain the price down for a fixed rate. If a driver refuses, walk off to find another taxi. After you take ten steps or so, he will probably change his mind and call you back, then give you a discounted fare. Taxi Meter Scams The Too-fast Meter Some tourists in Istanbul have reported encountering taxis with meters which click off the fare much faster than normal. Unfortunately we haven't been able to verify if this is true or not, but here's some information on how fast the meter should run (Istanbul prices show below): When the taxi driver turns it on, it should flash as if it is re-setting. The starting, or "flat" rate will display. In Istanbul (as of this writing) that's 2.95 TL. Every kilometer the meter should add 1.83 TL. Sitting in traffic or waiting, the meter should add .30 TL per minute. If you think the meter is running too fast, it probably is. About the only thing you can do is tell the taxi driver to let you out at the next intersection or taxi stand. Of course he will insist that it is a standard meter and that he has won awards for his honesty and religious piety, but get out anyway and get another taxi. While you're at it, get his taxi number and report him. More on that later. The Secret Button The taxi meter clicks off at its normal rate. But just as you are about to reach your destination, the driver reaches down and pushes a button which suddenly adds 20 TL or more to the fare. It is perfectly acceptable to sit in the front passenger seat of a taxi in Turkey. By doing so, you can keep an eye on the driver and the meter. Check the meter every few minutes, and especially as you near your destination. It's a lot more difficult for the driver to reach over and push the button undetected if you're sitting right next to him. Illegal Taxis Some people use their personal cars as taxis. They will offer to take you somewhere for less money than a taxi. Besides being illegal, you will have no idea who or what the driver is and where you will actually be taken. If the driver was qualified to be taxi drivers, he would be in a legal taxi. A legal taxi is yellow, with a yellow lighted sign on top reading "taksi." Besides the registration numbers on the license plates, sides, and roof, it will also have a painted logo on the doors which identifies it with a particular taxi stand. If it doesn't have all of these characteristics, don't get in. "I Know a Great Bar" Don't let a taxi driver take you to any bar he recommends. Another common scam (directed at single males) is to invite you to a bar where you will be charged exorbitant amounts for drinks. You won't be allowed to leave until you pay, and you will likely be taken to a back room and threatened, or frog-marched to the nearest automatic bank machine and forced to withdraw hundreds of lira to pay the bill. This is the same same used by Turkish men walking along the street, a scam directed normally to single male travelers. The Luggage Grab A man grabs your luggage at the airport and hurries off with you in chase, then puts it in to the trunk of a taxi that you didn't ask for. You go because he has your luggage. Instead of the hotel, he takes you to a bar for the experience described in the previous paragraph. Keep a close eye on your luggage at the transportation hubs. If somebody grabs it and walks off, taxi driver or not, make lots of noise and point to the person taking your luggage. Hopefully others will intervene and get your luggage back before it's too late. See Also Travel, Tours and Activities Forum Taxis in Turkey: About Turkish taxis in general. External Links Numbeo: Taxi Rates in Turkey Taksile: Taxi Rate Calculator: For Istanbul and other major cities in Turkey. Ken Grubb As a special investigator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and teacher for the University of Maryland, Ken Grubb has lived and worked in Turkey since 1997. He now lives in Antalya, where he researches and writes guides to help others live skillfully in Turkey.
  2. New Travel Friends One or more men will find a reason to start a conversation, by asking you the time or saying something to you in Turkish. When you reply, they will address you in English. Coincidentally, they will be going your way or offer to show you around. They may even travel with you for a while. At some point they will offer you candy or gum laced with a knockout drug. On a train or bus, it will appear to everyone else that you simply went to sleep. Then at an opportune moment, they will relieve you of your money, credit cards, and anything else you have of value. They may even take your luggage. Let's Go to a Bar I Know In this scenario, a one or more men will approach you and talk about a great bar he wants to take you to, where there are beautiful women. The workers at the bar will also be in on the scam. Some of these bars are called paviyon or gazino (not to be confused with "casino"). Paviyons and Gazinos can range from hole-in-the-wall bars to extravagant night clubs. They have women working there as "hostesses," who chat up the male customers and get them to spend as much money as possible. The price for your drink will probably be at least double what you would normally pay, and drinks bought for the women may be five to eight times more expensive than usual. They are actually legitimate businesses, even with their outrageous prices. What your new friend(s), and the bar owner will be counting on is that you don't know this. After an evening with your friend and whatever women sit at your table, your friend will disappear and the bill will come. It may be 1,000, 2,000, or even 3,000 TL, and they will demand immediate payment. Because you probably won't know exactly where you are, you will be at a complete disadvantage. If you don't have the cash, they will demand your credit card and run the charge on it, and even walk you to the nearest bank machine to take out cash to pay the bill. Your new friend will return later to the bar get his commission. Technically, this isn't illegal. Someone stiffing you with a bar bill doesn't really rise to the level of a crime. If you were to ask the price of the drinks first, and make it clear that you were not buying drinks for your friend or any of the women, the barman will probably just be disgusted, the women will go sit somewhere else, and your friend will storm off to find another victim. That is, unless they spike your drink. Drink Spiking In this case, you will be taken to a bar exactly as in the previous scenario, but at some point either the barman or one of your "friends" will spike your drink with a knockout drug. When aroused, you will be highly open to suggestion. You will then be taken to the office and relieved of your cash and credit cards, then taken to a bank machine, and instructed to withdraw as much money as you can. When you wake up the next day, who knows where, you won't remember anything. Your credit cards will be in your wallet, and you won't know how bad the damage is until you get a credit card bill for hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you do happen to run in to your "friends" again, or return to the bar, they will tell you that you became very drunk, acted horribly, and bought drinks for everyone in the bar over and over again. They will do this to lessen the chance that you will report what happened, and hope you will just forget about it. How to Keep from Being a Victim Never put anything in your mouth which is offered by new acquaintances. Say you're on a diet, don't like candy or gum, or put it somewhere "for later." Throw it away as soon as you have a chance. Make an excuse, say you have friends waiting for you. Or just leave offering no explanation at all. Rather than go to the place they want to take you, insist on going to a mainstream bar or cafe in a public place, of your choosing. If they balk at this idea and keep trying to talk you in to going to their bar, it's a sure sign that they have bad intentions. Get away from them. If You Become a Victim Report it to the police. If you have simply been stiffed with an exorbitant bill, the police may or may not act. But it may also be that the police are fed up with this particular bar and are just waiting for the next case to do something about it. A police report will also help getting your money back from the credit card company. If you have been drugged, the drug typically used is metabolized quickly by the body, but may still be present in your blood the next day. The police may or may not have you give a blood and urine sample. That will all depend on how serious the local police take it. They may just say "you should have been more careful" and do nothing, but if you don't report it, it is certain that they will do nothing. Contact your credit card company and explain what happened. In one case, a man in Adana, who was taken to paviyon, drugged, and had unauthorized charges racked up on his card returned to the bar. He obtained the price of the various drinks, then informed the credit card company that he would have to have bought 400 cognacs (their most expensive drink) or some 3,000 beers in the three hours he was there (using testimony of workers at bar where he was previously and the time of the charge to frame the time). The credit card company disapproved the charges and refunded all of his money. See Also Crime, Safety, and Terrorism in Turkey Forum: If you have questions or comments about this topic, please post them in our forum. Ken Grubb As a special investigator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and teacher for the University of Maryland, Ken Grubb has lived and worked in Turkey since 1997. He now lives in Antalya, where he researches and writes guides to help others live skillfully in Turkey.
  3. This character profiles himself as a top builder in the Side region. The man is an expert in selling apartments filled with promises, without delivering Tapu's. These Tapu's are withheld for one reason only, so this horrible man, can take out a mortgage loan to raise money to support his lifestyle. Other people are letting this man rent out there apartments, but in only a few cases do the owners receive the rentalmoney. In short this is a true scammer who should be stopped!! Do NOT invest in his company, nor do not believe his fairytales. Ther is a list of claimes against this guy, but seems that he can just do what he wants!!!!!
  4. Hi guys I have not been on for such a long while and here is my story. My real name is Mary and I am a member of another forum and my story is on there also but it involves the owner of the forum and the emlak Crescent Homes/Akaylar Emlak Didum. Firstly there are 2 issues............. The first was buying of the villa from a company called Homes Bodrum in Bodrum that are now not trading many people have been scammed by this person called Nihat Gollu he has been taken to courts has judgements against him however we cannot obtain our Title Deeds for this propery this has been ongoing since 2007. Debts were put on the properties whilst we were all applying for our Millitary Clearance. We had 3 Lawyers M Check done and paid for in 2007 but no title deeds, keys to the property and were using it since this date. A court case that went no where and cost thousands. Secondly Crescent Homes/Akaler Emlak in Didum altinkum via the T Living Forum had a member called CarolK pursuing members the aim was for Halis Akay from Akaylar Emlak pursue the Title Deeds by investigation and to this aim I paid 250.00 sterling. He then said that he had found Nihat Gollu but the villa has been passed on to Sahin Gollu but they could get the Title Deeds so upfront expenses were required, so I sent them all 2400.00 sterling pounds to include the 3% property tax. Almost 3 years have gone by and in 2010 we were told that M Check was needed as the villa had changed hands so we had to pay 3200 t lira! Then in 2011 were told that the owner Sahin Golllu would hand over the title deeds if we paid 10,000 t lira all done by C Homes/Akaylar Emlak the deal,we could not come up with anymore money and it was left on the back burner for a while as our daughter became vey very ill and was in a coma for many weeks. In 2012 we were contacted that the owner wanted to sell the property so C Homes said that if we did not come up with the money it would be auctioned off. Facts are that we raised the money via a loan sent it to CHomes then in December received a message that Sahin gollu wanted 8K and all together it required 9.5K to obtain the title Deeds. Obviously by now you all can read what is happening. This continuef for a while but some members and friends stepped in and with there help over 1 week a go I went to Turkey to sort it out once and for all. Here are the findings. This is my post on T L Forum.................................... Below this post. Why am I on here is to expose this scam and say that to date hve not received back the 3200lra for the MC that wasnt done nor did it have be done as the 2007 one was still current and I did receive the 4K back from C Homes they were forced to do so but not had the expenses back of 2400K back and not in possession of the villa. C Homes/Akaylar emlak have done this to a number of Brits and we are all trying to obtain our monies back. Not only have we lost our places but another scam took place on top of all this, it requires exposure. Thanks all for listening a devastated Mary and Hubby 5 years on and no nearer to obtaining what was rightfully ours. POST OF MY VISIT IN JAN/FEB 2013I suppose there must be some people who have been wondering what has happened to me? Well once you have read this post I am sure it will all become crystal clear. First & foremost Tony & I would like to thank ALL the members on this forum for their support & in some cases that included financial support. We would also like to thank people who are not on TLF but have also been there for us. So where have I been? I have just returned from Turkey, the mission was one final attempt for us to obtain our villa.......... I have no intention of mixing & matching issues here. I will deal with the villa firstly because that was & always has been the priority. The demand from the now so called “owner” was for £8,000 in cash for the transfer. We contacted a lawyer; we were strongly advised NOT to do this until such times as the “owner” was in Milas Tapu Office & doing the transfer. The lawyer made contact with the “owner”, many things came to light, one of which being that once we had paid the 8K & had the Tapu had been transferred, a charge of at least 19,000TL would have been laid on the property. This charge related to the court case that we took out via LLI, which through lack of funds we had to drop and the fact that LLI told us it was a very weak case, not only that but they had not carried out correctly the right and due process in turkey. The Tapu itself was showing no debts but there was one debt waiting on the sidelines for us, there could have been more. We have now accepted that the villa will never be ours & we are 100% sure that if we had handed over the 8K.............it would have been 8K down the drain. I have deliberately kept issues very separate here. I NEVER purchased off Crescent Homes but I did employ them to help me obtain the villa. On a well “know thread” Crescent Homes” stated something on the lines of “the Military Search that we had done for you is waiting at Milas Tapu Office”. Before getting the flight out to Turkey I made contact with a translator in Milas, I explained what I needed..............we made arrangements to meet in Milas & go to the Milas Tapu Office, his charge was 95TL. In Milas Tapu Office it was verbally explained to me that NO Military Search had been requested on the property that should have been ours over the years of 2009, 2010, 2011. I was shown details of a Military Search dated 2007. I never gave any details relating to what Crescent Homes had publicly stated on this Forum, it was just me making an enquiry. It was also pointed out that the person or Company who applied would or should have documentation relating to the Search i.e. Ref Number & receipts. I ask you again CRESCENT HOMES WHERE ARE THE REF NUMBERS, WHERE ARE THE RECEIPTS? Better still where is my 3,200TL that I paid you for the Search that there are NO records of you EVER doing. To those people with the attitude of “here we go again or we are going in circles”, may I say this? My circle has been a round trip to Turkey, firstly to obtain the villa, secondly to finally tell people that my statement on this post is FACT; there is no hearsay here just FACT. There, in the past have been respected & longstanding members on TLF asking the same question as me, WHERE IS THE PAPERWORK? Why did I not tell people I was coming to Turkey? The phone calls from CH to my husband & me have been “menacing” to say the least. ANYONE who is invited to CH office to discuss their disputes does it with caution as I did. To Scotsteve: Your posts over peoples issues are line after line of what most people consider “drivel”, 3,000kl................500 hours manpower, has it not twigged with you yet? Has the Penny not dropped? Do you honestly think people want to come into your office to try & claim money back from you? People who you have “helped” are now looking just how much that so called “help” has cost them & how much Crescent Homes made out of them. I have the PAPERWORK TO DFISCLOSE HOW MUCH I HAVE PAID 2400.00 STERLING IN COSTS UPFRONT then 3200 t lira for the MCIt takes not much working out that the 3 of us who have screamed the loudest on this forum are ALL in the UK, out of Crescent Homes reach. The lot of you may well be in a different situation if you were in the UK operating as you are doing. I would suggest to anybody who reads this post or even the whole of the threads relating to these issues. If you are offered help by a company, DO NOT do it “over the phone” get their prices & commitments in writing......... DO NOT just walk into any office & hand over lumps of cash, any monies paid get a receipt & have it clearly written in English what it is for & who the person is receiving it. CHomes/Akaylar tapu EmlakPay people back what you owe because we are not going away
  5. ok so i'm a racially mixed african and caucasian girl, i've never been to istanbul but i've heard it is absolutely gorgeous! I was recently approached by someone on a dating site whose photo showed a handsome dark haired caucasian, military guy. He says he's originally mexican, he's currently on mission in syria and has a son, but is divorced. He is charming, sweet, affectionate and very romantic. After weeks of daily exchanges online, and a growing emotional bond, we reach a point of considering marriage once he returns from mission and flies straight to visit me. He says he wants me to be a mother to his 7 year old son and he wants me to give him a baby girl who looks like me. It is my daily joy to read his loving messages and we openly talk of our future very soon. He wants me to be his wife, he 's terrified i might not wait on him and fall for someone else. He needs me like a lovely puppy and i totally fall for it. What woman can resist a handsome soldier with a tender heart? Then this morning, the cloud of joy vanishes when he clearly makes a sneaky move to get money out of me, and lies about a few things in the process. I sit there, shattered, then angry, and demand explanations. He changes tone and the mask drops. My handsome mexican soldier was a turkish armed forces man who is only a stolen image, not even aware i exist. And in fact, was a black nigerian guy who lives in ghana and wants nothing but my cash. i'm heartbroken and i feel so stupid. my brain can't manage to make my heart understand i need to stop loving this fake person.
  6. OH just had a phone call from "BilishimTek" giving the phone number 0212 482 1003 which is just an answering machine. The caller knew OH's name, and said they knew we had high electricity bills (everyone would say yes to that!)She said there is a government initiative which could reduce our bills by 25% - there would eventually be a machine to install which would do it. She asked what our previous electricity bill had been - OH then played along and told them, realising that if they knew we had high bills, wouldn't they know what the previous one had been? She then asked which bank we used the most to pay our bills with and what type of card it was........ THIS WOULD THEN GIVE THEM THE FIRST 6 NUMBERS OF YOUR CREDIT CARD as they are generic to each bank and card type. He didn't give the numbers to her (as he knows what they are). She then said all she needed were THE LAST 10 NUMBERS OF THE CREDIT CARD (which is your name and details encrypted) to be able to get the discount. He then said "I know exactly what the last 10 numbers of my credit card mean, and I am not giving them to you" She said "Thank you very much for your time" and hung up. A quick internet check shows that people have had 100 plus TL debited from their accounts and the company doesn't exist. We then phoned the bank and told them, they said they were aware of it. They are basically asking you to give them your credit card number which you should NEVER do. The first 6 numbers are your bank and card type. The last 10 numbers are your name and details. DO NOT GIVE THESE DETAILS OVER THE PHONE. DO NOT TELL WHICH BANK AND WHICH TYPE OF CARD.
  7. Ok Im posting this out of curiosity..because Ive seen two very common situations between some friends over the past few years.. recenty a friend of mine whom is married to a Turkish man.. they were married for more than 5 years..he received his US citizenship.. they filed papers for his mother to come over here and take care of their children and that took about a year.. now his mother moved here and now he leaves my friend (his wife) and says he wants a divorce.. while they were together he stated that he could not travel to Turkey because of legal issues.. however suddenly now that they are getting a divorce he tells her the Turkish laws have changed and he can travel there come January. I dont want to sound negative but it seems as though he used her for citizinship especially since I have seen this happen before. Would a man really spend 5 years faking a relationship and have children all with the plan to just leave when the time was up?
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