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Life Has Its Ups And Downs!

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In 2007 I was stuck in a rut in a nicely paid but stressful job working for a huge American company in France. On the outside things looked good - good pay, stock options, company car, etc. On the ins

I'm sorry you went through all this, but I'm glad he is forced to pay you back at least somewhat and that this is over. I think it would have been very difficult to move on until you came to the end,

Well, for once here is a happy ending! I got my money back! I will spare you all the details of what has been a harrowing 36 hours, but to keep it short, yesterday was the day fixed for the enfo

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you Lindy Lou!

Well Another court hearing today and all went well and actually quite funny but I am as usual so wiped out at the end of the day having spent the previous days not sleeping not eating that I'm just looking forward to a good night's sleep tonight and I'll post something tomorrow to tell you how it went but just to thank you all you out there for thinking about me and crossing fingers and whatever. It does mean a lot to me and thank you again.

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Vic I can well understand that you will be feeling drained and I do salute you and others who refuse to give in to these scumbags as the stress and strain of it all must exhausting.

I'm very pleased to read that it went well and was very much hoping that this was the final case. I hope you and your other half sleep well tonight and look forward to reading your update when you get yourself together again.

It was very kind of you to thank us, but it is really us that should be thanking you. We have just had the easy bit of sharing your journey but your postings have been well read by a lot of people who will gain knowledge and hopefully benefit.

Big hug to you xxxx

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Thank you Abi for your kind comments and the hugs! And if any of my witterings can be of use to anybody, I would be very happy.

So after the usual post-hearing libations and some well-needed sleep, I can feel an urge coming on to write up the last episode.

A couple of weeks ago, during one of those nice raki-balik evenings with friends, one of the guys says to jokingly Mr P, "Oh, by the way, you owe me 5000 euros". We looked bewildered and some of the more sober of those present tried to say to R that he shouldn't tell us, shut up, drop the subject, but Mr P insists, "What is this about?" Eventually we find out that Evil Mehmet had contacted R who, as everyone knows, is totally skint (he failed on his bank payments and has lost his car, his house, his restaurant). Evil Mehmet offered 5000 euros to R to come and witness for him and R kicked him out. We were immensely grateful for R's integrity, knowing his situation and the fact that he is not a close friend. But it showed us how desperate E.

M. is getting.

In fact everybody in Urgup keeps telling us how he is getting more and more panicked as he realises we are here to stay and won't drop everything and go back home and leave him alone to carry on running his scams.

The other anecdote which made us laugh was from someone who went to see his friend who has a hotel in Urgup. When he arrived he could see that his friend had guests and as he stood in front of the living-room door, he could smell the distinctive smell of some sort of "herbal cigarettes". So he thought he'd play a little joke. Banging loudly on the door, he shouted "Polis!!" and laughed until he cried as he saw them all jump out of the windows (ground-floor) and scarper. He opened the door and found that one was too far gone to get up out of the sofa (Evil Mehmet) and so scared that he had had a very unfortunate accident in his trousers! All Urgup is laughing over that one.

Anyway, back to the court case. It was due for 10:30 and but in fact we only went into the courtroom at 11:50 which gave us time to talk with our avukat. (Normally he arrives last minute or late and we sort of dash into the courtroom, dash out after the 5 min hearing and after a brief de-briefing he dashes off again). So we found out a bit more about the entrails of the Turkish justice system and life in general. What had been niggling me was the number of cases seen every day by one judge and that how that person could possibly remember all the intricacies of each individual case. But he explained that in Urgup there are 4 judges and only one courtroom so they rotate the days that they officiate. So our judge does preside over 45 cases per day but the rest of the time he can take the time to read through each individual case carefully. He also explained to us what the defense tactics were and, as he said cheerfully, "I'd have done the same thing". The defense put forward a list of 10 witnesses which the judge accepted. We were quite smug that in April we had brought forward 4 solid witnesses and he only had produced one very tenuous one. But that is the game, their aim is not to bring forward credible witnesses, since they have nothing defendable. The aim is to drag it out as long as possible. They know our avukat is coming from Ankara every time and we are paying his expenses everytime he travels down. The hearings are roughly every 2 months with summer recess and bayram time spacing them out even longer. 10 witnesses at a rate of one every 2 months, pushed to one every 4 months if they are sick or don't turn up, plus the probability that every 2 years they change the judge and he has to learn the dossier from starters, means the case can drag on 3 to 4 years and the longer it lasts the more it is costing us. Their defense is just to wear us down and hope that we will give up or just run out of money.

So they called a witness who was horrified that he'd been put on the list (we at least had the decency to ask people would they be willing to come and testify, Evil Mehmet just put down a list of 10 names without asking or informing them). This guy only found out that he was convoked to come to court on that very morning and we met him on the steps of the courthouse in a complete fluster. He works in the same building as the courthouse and once proudly showed us his new office with a real leather chair that turns round 360° and a secretary. So he probably sees our judge every day at the coffee machine, or rather the tea counter, and this was a definite humiliation to be dragged before the courts in front of a man he probably snobs every day. And to be honest, we only know him because you can't really miss him in Urgup, his nickname is justifably Doble Metre, and having spent some time in France, he was very eager to impress Mr P with his French skills. He had never even seen our house and had nothing to do with our problems. So he was understandably flummoxed and flustered and made a wonderful witness as he stammered that Evil Mehmet, yes, he knew him, but no, no, never in this world, was he a friend. He didn't know anything, hadn't seen anything, he had just heard of our problems like everybody in Urgup had heard of our problems. He spoke so fast that I couldn't understand what he was saying but I watched fascinated as he unbuttoned his jacket and buttoned it up again and unbuttoned and finished by buttoning it up all the wrong way.

We had luck on our side, the clock was ticking on, it was now 2 minutes past 12 and the judge starting to look bored, hungry and irritable and it is Lunch-Time. He starts taking off his robe and putting on his jacket and tells E.

M's lawyer that he is fed up of the witnesses he is producing. This is not testimony, it is hearsay. They have one month to bring all the remaining witnesses and they had better be good. E. M's lawyer tries to protest but is silenced, next court hearing for 10th January.

Our lawyer looked happy, he told us that it is never a good sign when you annoy the judge. The judge has caught on to the string-it-out-as-long-as-possible technique and he doesn't like it. It is the first time in 2 years that the next hearing has been fixed for under 2 months.

Anyway we are on the last lap, as our avukat said, slapping me cheerfully on the back, "Why do you stress so much, you should be used to it by now!" Well, I suppose that is a way of looking at it ...

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Once again a very good read Vic. I laughed when I read EM had an unfortunate accident and couldn't of happened to a better person. I wish I had been there to see it happen, maybe the shame of it will make him leave Urgup,It's good to read that the last hearing will be soon so that whatever the outcome you will be able to put it behind you and move on.

Well done Vic on your quest for justice. :) :)

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Thanks for the next gripping instalment in the saga of EM. Hopefully it's nearing its end and he will get his just desserts.

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  • 1 month later...

For those of you who want the gory details, I'll try not to waffle as it make be useful to some of you out there, I sincerely hope not for your sakes. First we found out that the postponement had been requested by our lawyer since he was pleading another (tapu) case in Urgup yesterday and as he said driving 3 1/2 hours from Ankara twice in th week in winter isn't much fun. This was good news since he can't ask us to pay his travelling expenses in full since they are shared with another plaintif. Every new hearing means more expenses for us. If this is like the French legal system and Evil Mehmet loses, he will also have to reimburse all these expenses. But since he will probably declare himself insolvent, we won't see a penny of it. E.

M's lawyer produced another 2 "witnesses" : one was a French guy with whom I have spoken maybe 3 times in the time we have been here. Mr P is always eager to speak French and had spoken with him a couple more times than me but the guy has never seen the house and we had never talked about our dealings with E.

M. He looked cool and laidback with his dreadlocks and boots full of horse manure (he has a ranch here) but is interesting to see how Turkish courts are intimidating because when he was giving his evidence he started looking a lot less cool and a little flustered. Maybe because the judge looked irritated (again we were lucky with the timeslot : 11:30, just before luchtime, you don't annoy a hungry judge!) Maybe because the clerk of the court (who is like a small dog yapping at your heels) kept poking him in the ribs and telling him to take his hands out of his pockets and not to cross his arms. The clerk of the court has this thing about signs of blatent lack of respect for the judge, I once got told off for crossing my legs. Anyway, all he could say was that he had met us and we had talked about what it was like living in Turkey and the tourism business and learning Turkish and whatever. The judge looked bored and annoyed and asked him if he knew how much we had paid for the property, who had paid for the renovation, ne zaman, ne kadar, kac para. The guy didn't know and the judge started waving his hands at E.

M's lawyer, this is a waste of my time. Next was a young guy who had done some electric installation for us before we fired him on the spot. Partly because his work was crap and partly because we'd cottonned on to the fact that Mehmet had found the guy for us, "negociated" the price for us and had included his 30% commission in the price. So yesterday all the poor guy could stammer out was that we had paid him for a day's work, that he had taken our money but that there had been 100TL for Mehmet Abi, that normally he wouldn't do that but Mehmet Abi had told him to do it, that Mehmet Abi had told him it was all right, Mehmet Abi had said... The judge cut him short on this, we don't care about 100TL, we are judging a case about over a hundred thousand euros! Then he turned to EM's lawyer and told him that that was the last witness he would hear. So now, next step is the report from the court experts. When they visited the property in April they made an estimation of the value of the property plus all the renovation work (electric, plumbing, solar water system, travertine, karton-piyer, faience etc. etc.) Evil Mehmet claims that the money we wired him was not to buy the house but to cover all the renovation costs which he had paid for personally. The experts will check all our invoices that we submitted and all the evidence from our witnesses and his and cross-check as to whether the invoices are compatible with the work done on the house. They will then submit their report to the court. This is supposed to be done by 20th Feb, the date fixed for the next hearing. Our lawyer looked doubtful as to whether the report would be ready at that date, so the hearing may be postponed to a date when the report has actually been submiited. If we do not agree with the experts report, we will then move up the dossier to Ankara. In fact the judge suggested sending the dossier directly to Ankara, but our lawyer pointed out that the experts had already been named by Nevsehir and that we had already paid for them and that we would await their report before paying new ones from Ankara. So on the positive side, the judge looks as if he wants to get this case closed and done with, we don't have to sit through these hearing listening to crappy witnesses who haven't seen anything, heard anthing and who wonder why they are here. Also on the positive side, we were European enough to pay for all building materials and most of the workers by bank card with an invoice or at least a receipt. So as our lawyer says, if the experts give an unfavorable report, it can only be because they have been paid off by the adverse side. In which case we move it up to Ankara. So, hey-ho, just another wait, but we are getting used to it now. Thank you everybody for the kind thoughts, it does make a difference. Hugs to everybody.

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Thanks for the update Vic. As you say there is nothing to do now apart from wait and hope that the court experts get their act together so that they can present their findings on the 20th February. I agree the time frame for them to do that is short so unfortunately, like you, expect another delay.

I can only be thankful that you paid all everything by bank card to show the monies you paid and have receipts etc to back you up and should be straight forward and easy for them to go through However, I would think that EM's receipts/invoices will not be so straight forward and that may cause a delay, but we will have to wait and see. I was wondering if the judge actually looked through the receipts and invoices or does he leave all of that to the court expertsHow frustrating this last part is for you as one would have hoped that whilst the court case has been going on that they would have already done that :(Fingers crossed that the paperwork won't have to go to Ankara as who knows how long it will take them to go through it as I guess your paperwork will go on top of a pile of work already waiting to be looked at. Having said that I hope there is a time frame for them to go through it and report back.

The judge sounds like a good and honest man who doesn't suffer fool gladly, it's also lucky that your time frame placed you near to lunch time. :)So now it's fingers crossed that the 'court experts' do their job well and quickly. :)

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Thank you Abi and LindyLou. The book will be coming out soon (joke!) And return big hugs.

Abi, if the papers do have to go to Ankara, our lawyer is confident that that will go smoothly because that is his playground and that of his law firm but the prices for naming the experts are likely to be higher than those in Cappa.

The experts wouldn't start the cross-checking of invoices versus claims since they waited to hear in case some crucial witnesses came forward.

The judge seems to be someone fair and honest but then I am the first one to admit that appearances can deceive. One of our friends asked us recently what Party he belonged to, we don't have a clue. He said if he was AKP (and he doesn't vote AKP) we had a better chance of having a fair trial. When we said how the heck would we know what he voted, he said look at his haircut and the names of his children. It brought home to me that cultural diffrences are not about what is visible but what you understand. There are things you do in your native language that you don't even realise. Like work out from the accent of the person what socio-economic background they come from and for a person from the UK, working out who is Catholic and who is Protestant between Sean and Michael is something that comes naturally.

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This has really dragged on but I hope that you will get a result in the next few months and EM will get his just desserts.

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