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Vic801

Life Has Its Ups And Downs!

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BUT please keep in mind that generally Turkish people are helpful and friendly.

Don't get me wrong - I know that 1) we were very stupid to be so trusting and 2) we were also just very unlucky to land on this guy. We have some really good and stalwart friends and some amazing experiences in Turkey. Where alse would someone you have only known for 6 months lend you their credit card to tide you over until your money is transferred from France? We'd only been in our new flat for a week and wanted to take the dolmus but didn't have change. In the bakkal she didn't have change either so she gave us the 2,5 TL and said "you'll pay me back this evening"! In what other country will a shopkeeper close up his shop to take you with him when you just asked where you could get keys cut? We have a friend who lost his job, is paying for his daughter's studies, is up to the eyeballs in debt on the credit cards and who asks us if WE are OK, are we eating properly, do we have coal for the winter? We wouldn't still be here if we hadn't had the help and support of our Turkish friends. So our story with Mehmet is just bad luck.

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Phew! I am relieved to hear that you have also encountered some of the lovely experiences that make your heart warm. :)

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This is when you realise who your real friends are and how much they will go out of their way to do things for you.We talked to our real friend Yasar about our problems and he said that he was very unhappy about this and that without Turkish help we would never get the proper deals espcially with the tractors. People in the village are very poor and are working in the fields all day to just make ends meet. The muktar told us that he was looking forward to his retirement payments and that the first thing he would buy was a shower, he would no longer have to heat up water in a jug on the soba. So with tourism having hit Cappadocia suddenly with "rich" tourists flashing wads of money around, there are obviously people who let themselves be tempted by overcharging a little since the foreigners won't notice the difference. Yasar was unhappy to explain this to us but he said unfortunately this is a reality. Some people have integrity, some people are too dirt poor and can't resist. What made him really angry was that Mehmet was/is not poor and owned his own hotel and rent-a-car business plus another house in Urgup and that he had been ripping off tourists and Turks alike for years. As we got to know people better and our Turkish improved we spoke to many Turkish people who would shame-facedly admit they had been taken in by the baby-faced smile and the soft talk. Some had only lost small sums of money, others like us had lost life savings and nobody had enough money to hire a lawyer to take him to court.His cousin Emin offered to act as overseer for us and find us honest and competant electricians, plumbers etc. We gladly accepted. He came up to the house and was appalled at the shoddy workmanship from our workers who seemed to spend more time drinking tea than working. "And you got paid xxx Eruros for this?" he asked Ali Usta. Ali Usta stammered that he had only been paid half that. Rubbish, we said. We had given that money to Mehmet to be given to Ali. Rubbish, retorts Ali, that b***rd has been cheating on me! So off went Emin and Ali with our receipts to confront Mehmet. Mehmet takes this with a cynical smile and tells them it is normal to take commission, this is "ticaret" (business). Emin and Ali are horrified and indignant as he calmly tells them he has been taking 50 to 60% commission on everything. Ali and the workers down their tools, load up in the van and that is the last we see of them.Emin then tells us we must speed up operations as we are now September and that after November the winter will set in, the snow will come and workers won't come up to our mountain 15 kms from town. How much money do we have left, he asks. Only 15 000 euros, we admit. Emin starts scribbling calculations while ripping out his hair. This doesn't look good. But he worked miracles. He called his electrician who is a good Muslim and appalled at his countryman's treatment. He didn't exactly work for free but I reckon what we paid him just covered the cost of fuel for his van. Same for the plumber who was originally from our village. Same for the guys who laid the travertine and did the bathroom tiling. Everyone was upset about the situation - " please don't think that all Turkish people are like that". We kept insisting that we didn't (and we don't). Ahmet Greeneyes from the village came with his tractor for free. Fatma Teyze would come and sit on the wall and encourage the workers to work harder and faster. Ibrahim Amca would come and from our terrace look over to Mehmet's hotel and shake his fist and talk about the devil that Mehmet was. In fact he seemed to be holing up. We'd seen him going to the village coffee-shop a couple of weeks earlier and people spitting on the ground with muttered comments as he passed. This put balm on open wounds even though it pained me so much hearing Mr P say "I thought he was my friend. How could he do this to me?" However another friend with relations in Kayseri helps us buy 5 beds at a discount price with bedlinen and pillows thrown in free. The solar panels are up, the pump is ordered, the plumbing and electricity is in. The beautiful golden and black travertine flooring is laid, the electricity and plumbing finished. We just need to get the showers, toilets and sinks fixed and buy stuff for the kitchen and we can open our place to guests in a couple of weeks, 5 rooms this year, 5 the year after. We are down to the bottom of our bank account but there is no going back since we have nothing to go back to. Emin is a tour guide and promises to bring us customers and village life is cheap if you live like villagers on beans and rice. We are raring to go and so grateful to all the kind, honest and patient people who have been helping us out of the mess we got ourselves into. Nobody said to us : how could you have been so stupid. In the village life is hard and money scairce but we would constantly be stopped as we drove out of the village as our neighbours would give us a bowl of pekmez, of a couple of apples or grapes or whatever. We knew that we loved this country and were here to stay.

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How absolutely fantastic. What kind helpful people. :clap2[1]: You must put a signature on your posts with a link to your hotel/pansion website as I'm sure people will be interested in staying in a cave house in Cappadocia.

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OK here comes the funny bit (depends on your sense of humour).Our plumber was on a contract elsewhere so early one morning Mr P went to town to pick up a plumber recommended by our friend Ugur. Ugur explained that his plumber friend was also a geologist and surveyor. He came up to the village and translated for us. After greeting them I busied myself in the kitchen getting the tea ready (like a good Turkish woman!). I could hear Mr P showing the 2 of them round the house and explaining which toilet/sink etc should go where. I heard him say (with his sweet French accent which I won't try to reproduce) "And this is our best room!). I heard the door open and then a very funny silence. Then a strangled voice says "Euuh, Vicky, can you come". Slightly irritated to have to leave the tea-making preparations, I did. When I saw everybody's faces I knew this was serious but I still wasn't prepared for what I saw. Mr P with his hand on the door handle had his jaw sweeping the floor. The entire room which was supposed to be our king suite was full of huge rocks up to manhight and the room and bathroom above this room had fallen through leaving a gaping hole to the sky.The first thing that flashed into my mind was that nobody was hurt and then next thing was Oh my God what if this had happened a couple of weeks later when we might have had guests sleeping in there. The thought made we weak at the knees. Ugur made me sit down on the little wall on the terrace while Mr Plumber/geologist surveyed the damage and the rest of the building. When he came back his face was grim. Ugur translated for us. "Look, I am going to be brutal but it is time for you to pack up and forget your dream. You will never get an authorisation to open to the public after this. Part of the mountain has detached itself and crushed your house. But in any case it wasn't built correctly. Originally the houses in the village were caves only. In the 30s they built arched rooms over the top but didn't think of consolidating the caves underneath. Look, he said, you have your roof terrace over your 2 arched rooms, underneath you have your cave rooms, underneath the courtyard you have 2 more cave rooms which are over another caveroom which doesn't belong to you and that you say is used for storing apples by your neighbour. There is just too much weight and not distributed correctly. The mountain above is obviously crumbling away and you can have rockfall everyday. Look around you - why has everybody moved down to the bottom of the village in new red-roofed houses? Why are only the poor people living here?" We thought about our neighbours - old Mussa who was losing his marbles and who we would hear singing to his donkeys in the evening and we would see him wandering around barefoot with his flies open. Halime and Bulus with their 2 children living, sleeping and cooking in a tiny room where the baby slept in a sling strung across their room. Fatma and Suleyman, Fatma and Mehmet, Fatma and Ibrahim, yes, they were all poor. Mr Plumber continued "You probably don't even have the right to build here. Normally the government doesn't allow in areas prone to rock fall. Have a look on your tapu, it is probably written on it". "But we don't have tapus here" we bleated. "Sorry, but forget it, just write it off as a big mistake" were Mr Plumbers last words as he left.As soon as he had gone our neighbours all came round. They had heard the rumble and crash of the rock but we had come back late at night and they didn't want to disturb us. Evrybody inspected with much "allah allah" and "haaan". Fatma Teyze sat next to and hugged me. "Don't cry" she said. And then hopefully "Maybe a little reinforced concrete?" (Here reinforced concrete is the panacea for everything and comes second only to interlocking paving stones). I told here that this time even reinforced concrete wouldn't do the trick. She then took her stick and shuffled off home. Five minutes later she was back accompanied by another woman, both of them carrying bowls. Fatma Teyze had brought soup and the other woman fasuliye. It was so kind it brought fresh tears to my eyes. "Hush, don't cry and eat your soup" said Fatma Teyze. I obediently spooned down my soup and had to chuckle that in Turkey soup is the answer to everything especially when you've lost your dream, your home and all your life savings! When I'd finished she told me to wipe my tears and then said "Right, what are you going to do next?" It always surprises me the resiliance of Turkish people, they build up a business, lose all their money and start up something else. Instead of moping and wailing and pouring ashes on their heads they get on with life.So Game Over, what's next?

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Looking forward to the happy ending now.

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Wow, after reading the previous chapter which was heartwarming though sad I was totally :surprise[1]::new_shocked[1]: when I read your latest post, I just didn't see that coming. I was thinking that after all your hard work you would lose it all because you wouldn't get the paperwork but not that.You certainly are made of strong stuff to go through all that and just wonder what you are going to write next. This thread, for me, has turn into compulsive reading.

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I too am in :shock2[1]::surprise[1]: Just when you thought you might just make it! Devastated is not strong enough a word. :censored::crying[1]: You had me gripped before but now .................................. :uhm[1]::badmood: What on earth happens next, don't keep us in suspense. :confused1[1]:

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Thank you everbody for your support and encouragement. I don't think I am stronger than anybody else but sometimes you have no choice.The first couple of days after that we alternated between repeating the mantra "nobody hurt, nobody killed" and saying "maybe the reinforced concrete?" We even got a second, third and fourth opinion - all of them the same. The last one even said that it was so dangerous that he would never send his workers to work in our place whatever we would pay him. This clinched it and we began to worry about our safety. We had to get out. Which would mean finding somewhere to rent. Which would mean urgently finding some money. Which would mean getting a job. Our friends couldn't really understand that we really were broke - all foreigners here are well off, they run hotels and businesses or are just retired, have all kept a place in their home country and go back in the harsh winter months. However when they realised how desperate we were to find a job, they rallyed round and enquiries were made to travel agencies, hotels, exploring the possibility of giving English lessons. One day we met Guven who had a friend who ran a huge onyx and jewellery place where the tourists are taken between tours. He took us, introduced us, explained our predicament and the boss said "You start on Monday" Yuppee!! We had a job!Guven told us that we should wait a couple of weeks before discussing salary and that we learn the ropes and show that we could sell. So we arrived and were introduced to our colleagues who were all really helpful and friendly. Basically we learned that you arrive in the morning, clean the showcases then go and sit in the staffroom and drink tea and do crosswords until a coach arrives. Depending on the nationality and number of the tourists the chief salesman (who looked and acted more like a class prefect) calls out who who should go into which salesroom. When the selling is over you go back to the staffroom for more tea and crosswords. For hours on end! Boring. The first day Mr P asked Serife (who spoke perfect French) what time we went home. We had thought around 5 pm but no, we had to stay until 7 pm. His next question "What day of the week do we have off" was met with indignation : you don't get a day off for at least the first month and then you would ask permission from the boss! This was going to be one boring job! But we got a hot lunch free and the colleagues were fun. We had thought that the atmosphere would be competitive but everybody helped each other out - this was due to the intelligent commission system where the commission was paid on the basis of what was sold per room, not per salesperson. Mr P enjoyed it, I was more timid but we sold something every day. And we learned the Turkish art of taking it cool, waiting for hours, drinking tea and making silly jokes. Also this helped us with our Turkish language skills.

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I'm glad you managed to find some work. What happens next, what happens next?

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Well, we were still worrying (Mr P is a professional worrier). We still had no idea of how much we were going to be paid. We knew the minimum wage per month was (at that time) 625 TL and hoped we might get a little more. Our colleagues were fun and helpful to us but we could see that they were not highly educated, many had very worn out shoes, all the men are wearing suits but they worn at the elbows and knees. The few people who had cars had really old bangers in a worse state than our very old Ford Taunus. And most of the men had second jobs in kebab shops or teahouses in the evening. Didn't look as if the boss was paying good money. Our main worry was that this place was outside of town on the other side from our village and we were driving 60 kms a day with the Taunus which was drinking up GPL like nobody's business. Our second worry was that we were working illegally. Mr P had lived in Roumania where he had seen people who were working illegally being deported on the spot without even being given the time to go back home and pack a bag. If I was deported it would be to the UK and I left in 1989 so what would I do there?Worries on the second point were swiftly allayed. One day Serefe came running up to us "Victoria, find Mr P and get out, go home!" I asked her why. "There is a control. You don't have sigorta, get out quick go home now." We went to the staff room to find 3 other people also packing their bags one of whom I'd never though was not Turkish. Just as we are going out the back entrance to the car park the errand boy comes in "false alert, you can stay". The Japanese girl who was usually so elegant and polite let rip a resounding "SH*T!" which is how we felt too. As we took off our coats we asked the others how long they had worked there illegally. One said 9 years, the other 4 years, the other 5 years. So we reckoned that everybody knew and the boss gave the envelopes in the right places. So the next thing was the money. Accompanied by Serefe we went to see the boss. He told us what our monthly salary would be. Crikey O'Riley it barely covered the cost of the GPL. And we wouldn't get commission before another 6 months. This was not good. And there was no negociating. We were going to have to find another solution.

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Vic801,I am biting my nails, that's a plot for a novel taken from real life.

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This is better than any soap! :D

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Thank you again for the encouragement and I'm glad I'm not boring you because I know I can get long-winded.I have in fact skipped loads of chapters including the winter spent up in the village -22° and 30cm snow, blocked off from the world since our dirt track was snowed up, no money to buy coal or wood so holed up under the blankets in our room where we cooked, slept and lived. In the morning we had to get up and go out into the freezing cold with a spade to shift off the snow off the roof terraces because if you don't and it melts it will infiltrate into the tuf stone and when it freezes it will break the stone. But our neighbours were wonderful and sometime if we slept in we would hear the scraping of a spade over our heads as a neighbour did our roof for us. And everybody was proud to have their foreigners in their village and ones that didn't go back to their country in the winter.Another chapter that I forgot happened right at the beginning of our stay in the village. A neighbour had come to help up with something and we had made tea and whatever small talk our very limited Turkish permitted. We were alright with nouns and knew all the words for sheep, cow, donkey etc but verbs were more complicated and we really only mastered the forms we heard every day like "gel" and "git". Our neighbour left and told us he was going to get the cows in for the night. 5 minutes later his wife appeared on another terrace (in the village everybody gets up on their roof and shouts across to the neighbours, it's great for hearing everybody's news). She is a traditionally built lady probably around 90 kgs. We wanted to tell her that her husband had gone to fetch the cows. Mr P said "Git" and I said "Inek". She disappeared off the terrace. Mr P and I looked at each other. I said "I think we've just said - shove off, fat cow". It had us creased up but she never spoke to us again after that!

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How on earth did you survive - I couldn't in those temperatures.Oh dear, that poor woman, does her husband speak to you?

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How on earth did you survive - I couldn't in those temperatures.

Not quite sure how we did either!

Oh dear, that poor woman, does her husband speak to you?

We did try to apologise but I think just got ourself deeper in it. Her husband did speak to us and far too much in her opinion! He would come round and help us out with odd jobs and she would spy lying down on our roof with bosom hanging over and if she saw him taking off his jacket to pick a spade or whatever she would shriek at him. He would look at us with spaniel eyes, sigh, put his jacket back on and go back home. Poor hen-pecked man.By the way, Sunny - love your cats!

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None of this is actually strictly chronological since I have swept much of it under the carpet in order not to think about it any more and am only unearthing little bits at a time in an effort to purge. It is painful but it is doing me good (a bit like picking at a scab) so at the risk of boring you again here is another bit.At the time we were buying a house (April 2008) things were very confusing since there had been a ministerial paper that had not been signed by all the right people by the right date and so all Tapus were blocked for foreign buyers. This was supposed only to be a suspension and that when the papers were signed the block would be lifted but it was impossible to get any firm information about where and when foreigners could buy in Turkey. Mehmet told us not to worry about what was happening in Ankara; this didn't change anything for life in the village (On a side note, he was at least partly right. This week was our third residence permit renewal and the very first time that they asked for proof of finances from the bank. We opened a bank account without a residence permit and they immediately gave us a credit card with 5000 TL credit on it without blocking any money on an account. So up in the villages in the mountains life does tend to go on as it did hundreds of years ago.)Anyway when the ban was finally lifted in July 2008 we started to get clearer information. What was quite clear was that foreigners are not allowed to buy property in a village i.e. where there is no Belediye. To have a Belediye you must have 2000 inhabitants and our village with 125 inhabitants was far from the mark. Reading around a bit we found that a Turkish limited company founded by 2 foreigners could buy property in areas forbidden to foreign buyers. So we set up a Turkish Limited company (by the way, really easy and quick - one day to the accountant, notary, bank and Chamber of Commerce, next day to pick up the papers and company stamp). So we were just waiting for the kadastro to come and survey the village and issue the tapus and we could transfer the village deeds from Mehmet's name to our company. We asked the muktar to tell us when the tapus arrived and he promised to do so.All this was before the mountain rockfall disaster. One day we learned that everybody had got their Tapus and the muktar hadn't told us (I think he was getting his cut). When Emin (who was helping us overseeing our workers) was there we phoned Mehmet and asked him when we could go to the notary and transfer the tapus. The answer was short " I don't give tapus". We told him in that case he should give us our money back "I don't give money". Emin was outraged and grabbed the phone and told him that he must give us our tapus. "I don't give tapus" was the answer and he cut the call. We left it a couple of days and then I decided to call him. Mr P was being far too soft and since Mehmet had already told him he didn't like me I thought it would be better if I took things to a more business-like level. I had been back to France for a week to set up a company there and had taken the opportunity to buy a pocket recorder (a little thingy you slip in your pocket and can record conversations with mini-cassettes). Very discrete except when the cassette gets to the end and it switches off with a mighty click and thud! So I called Mehmet and told him I was coming over to talk. Slipped the thingy in the pocket hoping it wouldn't click and thud and set off with pounding heart.When I got there I brought out my "negociating in the market place - managers course part 1) piece. "Look Mehmet you have a problem, we have a problem, lets find a way out". I told him we thought it was sad that our friendship had withered away, that Mr P was very sad at the way things had turned out, that we could see that his friends has turned away from him, his family never came up to the hotel and we would see him at night watching television on his own. He told me that yes, we had made such problems for him that he couldn't even go to the coffee shop without people spitting in the street as he passed, that his wife might leave him and go back to her family in Kayseri and that his daughter had come back crying from school since the parents of her friends had told their children not to play with her because her father would soon be in prison. That really hit home since we had never wanted his children to be involved in this. For a split second I felt really awful and thought about the fuss we'd been kicking up (we'd been to see the Kaymakam, the Vali, the Jandarma and had been alerting all around that this guy was running a permanent tapu scam up in his village. Everybody had told us to get a lawyer and take him to court). So for a split milli-second I am almost feeling sorry for Mehmet and then I realise how manipulative he is and what a perfect actor. I told him that his problems were of his own making and that there was a perfectly simple solution to put an end to all this, give us the tapus. Ok, he said, I will give you the tapus. I am hoping that the thingy in my pocket is recording this. But on one condition. You give 10,000 euros extra. "What?" Yes, it is like a fine because you made all these problems for me. I will give it to the mosque or a hospital or you can choose a charity but you must pay the fine. He is all over smiles now and I have already worked out he will never hand over those tapus and will continue with "a little bit money for me" forever. But I ask him "If we give you the money, how can we be sure that you will give us the tapus. Will you sign something?" A long pause and then a reluctant yes. I pull out a piece of paper and a pen and start writing. In English of course. He reads and writes his Turkish version underneath and signs and I leave with my precious piece of paper. When I get back I find that the recording is unusable and fluffy as I had kept clutching it through my pocket in case it set off with its click and thud but the paper stated that he had already taken x euros for the sale of the house and that he wanted 10,000 euros more. For a court case it would be useful.Anyway after we had the disaster and then the jewellery shop so we were not really thinking about the tapus until the day he stopped us on the car park and asked for his 10,000 euros. Mr P exploded "Do you think we would be going to work selling trinkets if we had 10 000 euros?" Mehmet answered "Get a loan from the bank, that's what they are there for". I grabbed Mr P's arm before his fist landed on Mehmet's nose "Drive off, drive off now, he is just wating for that, he's just goading you. He'll call the jandarma and hope that we get deported and then he keeps the house, the money and the tapus". Reluctantly, Mr P drove off and that was the day we swore to wipe the smug smile from Mehmet's face.We contacted the French guy who had "bought" the house next door to Mehmet's. For 6 years he had come every summer on holiday, he thought Mehmet was a great friend, their children played together etc etc. He had sent the money to Mehmet to buy the house and suddenly no news and when pressed Mehmet claimed he never received any money even when presented the receipt of the bank wire. The French guy had packed up his things, wife and children and never looked back. We asked if he would join us in pressing charges and he was quite clear, he never wanted to hear about Mehmet, Cappadocia or Turkey ever again. He had lost money but more importantly he had lost illusions about friendship.We couldn't find any contact information about the 2 other families to whom he had sold to the same house so we decided to go on on our own. First thing was finding an English-speaking lawyer. We had consulted a couple in Urgup but nobody spoke a word of English and I felt it was important. The British Embassy site listed some in Ankara. We sent emails to 6 of them explaining our situation and asking about fees. 4 did not even bother to reply. One of them replied in pidgin English that I couldn't understand and one replied asking for a down-payment immediately of his travelling fees from Ankara since he would have to come at least 40 times. Ha, very ha. So project on standby until a friend told us of her friend who had just won his tapu case and passed on the address of his lawyer. So to cut a long story short (which as you may have noticed I'm no good at) we started up proceedings. When we saw the fees that the lawyer was asking for (nearly 10,000 euros) we knew that we were going to have to find better than the jewellery shop job but we decided that we would find the money somehow. For us it was not as much a question of getting the money back (by then the rockfall had happened and we wanted out) but that he should be named and shamed and exposed as a fraudster. We wanted to protect any other unsuspecting victims and somehow avenge some of his other Turkish victims who hadn't been able to afford to take him to court. We wanted Turkish justice to say loud and clear that this is not right, it is not good for Cappadocia nor for Turkey's image. So off we rode on our white horse "With a shield on his arm and a lance in his hand, For God and for valour he rode through the land". (On another totally un-Christian side of me, I wanted Mehmet to suffer like we had suffered, to cry at night like I had cried, to worry and stress like we had worried).Our lawyer told us it was a clear-cut case (but then he would, wouldn't he). Mehmet had sold us a property that we didn't have the right to buy, had taken money from us in return for something he could not give and therefore should return the money (with interest and moral compensation). So since December 2009 we are in court proceedings. First step was the legal notice where the lawyer notified Mehmet that he had 15 days to return the money otherwise we would go to court. The 15 days were up, we went to court. The first hearing was an anti-climax we had barely the time to sit down than it was over and the date for the next hearing fixed for 2 months time. And thus it has been since, 2 minute hearing and next date fixed for in 2 months time. In between time they changed the judge so it started all over again. And scrimping and saving every penny to pay off the lawyer. However last time it seems like things are moving. Mehmet claims that the money we sent he used to make work on the house. Except we have every invoice and every scrap of paper for everybody who worked for us. All our workers have promised to come and witness that they worked for us and were paid by us (I had tears in my eyes when they told us that because I know how people are frightened of courts, justice and the police). The judge has named an expert to go to the village and evaluate the correct price of the house and the work done on it. He will also listen to the witnesses. The date is next week and means that we have to go there and I don't want to go but I know that it is necessary but the thought of it is screwing me up (hence the outpouring). I don't want to crack up at the sight of what was our dream but Mr P kindly said that it might soften the judge if I do cry. (Grrr, Mr P). Anyway the expert will submit his report end of May and judgement expected mid-June. I just want all this to be over and turn the page, close the chapter and get on with the next bit of our lives. I just don't know how I will react if they decide that Mehmet was in his right. So cross fingers for us, please.

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What a nasty piece of work that Mehmet is. I hope you win your case. I will keep my fingers crossed for you. GOOD LUCK.

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What a nasty piece of work that Mehmet is. I hope you win your case. I will keep my fingers crossed for you. GOOD LUCK.

Thank you!!He is not just a nasty piece of work - he impresses me with his art. Someone we knew came back from his army stint, nowhere to live and 5000 TL in the bank. Mehmet his good friend offers a room at his hotel and the friend will work on his website. He accepts. All his friends say be careful, keep your money in the bank, look at what happened to V and Mr P, don't trust him etc. Friend says, he wouldn't do that to me, we are friends, we were at school together. A month later he phones and asks do we have a spare room. Well, we do, but no bed so he slept in a sleeping bag on our floor until he found somewhere else. Completely wiped out. By a "good friend". (Selfishly we felt a little less stupid).

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Just a little side story to show that Mehmet is the exception and that we do appreciate our good Turksish friends. Popped into the hospital yesterday to see the gynecologist for a prescription. We'd only been back home a couple of hours when a friend rang. "Is everything OK?" "Yes, fine, why?" "Because my daughter has just phoned to tell me she saw you going into the hospital". We reassured him there was nothing wrong and felt so happy to be looked after like that.

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Indeed a very sad story and my heart goes out to you. You and Mr P are very brave in that you are now 3 years down the line down the line and haven't given up as many people would have. I'm thinking that Mehmet has under estimated your powers of resilience and thought you would just disappear like the French couple you spoke of.I'm glad that whilst it's painful to write about it is helping you. I also hope the court case goes well for you both, whilst you may not get your money back as I'm sure he has made arrangements to show that he has no properties or monies in his name it will still be a victory for you in that he will be named and shamed for everyone to see.My fingers and toes will be crossed for you.

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