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George in Alanya Prison

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About 6 weeks ago my good friend George - real name Mehmet - had a lot of cash on him and he was robbed but he took out a knife and stabbed the guy.  There were many witnesses to this and it seems it was self-defence although of course carrying that knife was illegal.  The stabbed guy went to hospital but was only there a few days and is now ok and back at his home.  George, however, is in Alanya Prison and must stay there for 2 years.  All prisoners in Turkey can only nominate up to 3 people to visit them in jail.  It can be friends or family or a mixture of the two.  All George's relatives are in Istanbul, so he nominated them sadly, so nobody in Side can visit him.  Sukru Ozen has been to the prison twice to try and see George who is a tour operator and Sukru is his business partner, but to no avail.  He was denied access.  I understand, however, that there is just one day each year when anyone can visit Alanya Prison but I am having trouble finding out when that might be.  Could anybody put me in the right direction please?  I have written to George twice since he went to prison but as yet have heard nothing.  I suppose he is not permitted to use the phone or emails but may be able to write a letter?  I do hope I hear from him soon.  I have known George for 12 years and he has never shown any signs of anger - not even raised his voice to anyone - so I am shocked at this revelation.  He is 40 years old and single.  He had a long term girlfriend but she sadly died in a car crash 12 years ago.  He does not chat up the tourists or go to the Russian prostitutes here in Side but says he is just waiting for The One.  I feel so very sorry for him.  Any help anyone can give me would be gratefully received.  Thank you.  x Angela in Side x

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Can you ask a more specific question?

I had someone contact me from a Turkish prison once. He was desperate and had only a business card of mine I had given him. He faxed me, and I can tell you it was some surprise to have a coworker walk in to my office saying I had received a fax from a prisoner in the local prison.

When I talked to him after he got out, he said that he could only send the fax, because the prison officials could read what he was writing. I don't know if that helps.

But if you ask a more specific question about what you want to know, maybe I can help.

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Thank you Ken - that's helpful - so are you saying that he could send a fax but not a letter then?  But I have no fax machine, so that is a non-starter for me.  Is there any way to find out which date this year anyone can visit Alanya Prison?  And could I send George some goodies - perhaps chocolates - fruit - newspapers - magazines?  There are 2 x prisons in Alanya - none in Side - one of them is a closed prison and the other one is open but if you write to the general address of the prison in Alanya, apparently the managers will be sure to get the letter or goods to the prisoner in whichever of the 2 prisons they are in.  

I find it hard to believe that George was given 2 years though.  After all, it was self-defense and there were many witnesses.  Anyone know why this would be please?

George is a very intelligent guy and speaks 6 languages fluently.  He loves our Queen and asked me to get a poster of her last time I went to the UK.  I did not know whether to get her as she is now or how she looked as a younger Queen - so I got one of each.  George now has one of them in his living room and the other one above his bed.  His favourite reading material is Shakespeare!  He gets on with everybody and I don't know of a single person in Side who dislikes him.  He is always well dressed and an interesting character to talk to.  I pass his tour shop every day on the way to the beach and stop for a chat with him every day.  I do miss him.  Wish I could help... anybody any ideas please?

x Angela in Side x

 

 

 

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Although everyone calls him George, his real name is Mehmet Emin Bulgurcu.

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If you want to see some photos of George, he is on Facebook under his real name of Mehmet Emin Bulgurcu.

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Thank you Ken - that's helpful - so are you saying that he could send a fax but not a letter then?

I don't know if it would be the same situation at all, I'm just recounting what happened when I heard from someone in prison. I had only met him once, and he got put into prison and had no family or friends who would help him, but he had my business card which had my contact info, with the fax number. He couldn't call, but they let him fax a message to that number.

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Is there any way to find out which date this year anyone can visit Alanya Prison?

Unfortunately you would need to find that out from the prison.

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And could I send George some goodies - perhaps chocolates - fruit - newspapers - magazines?

I don't know. What my friend needed most was money, because with that they could buy necessities in the prison, many of which are not provided. I had to go to the gate and give it to them, I was not allowed in. He did receive it.

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I find it hard to believe that George was given 2 years though.  After all, it was self-defense and there were many witnesses.  Anyone know why this would be please?

I also had a Turkish friend who shot somebody. He was also given a prison sentence, not for shooting the guy, but because the gun he used was not registered. For him I provided some money which I gave to his brother in law and he got it to him.

Both of the guys I knew went to open prisons. Apparently they had cells, but they were open, using one as a kitchen, and they mostly played volleyball or did other things to pass the time. I assume it depends on what kind of prison they go to.

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Thank you Ken ... very informative and interesting facts.  Today I heard from Sukru Ozen who is George's business partner and also arranges the airport transfers.  Sukru was going to the court to get a letter from them, stamped and sealed, to say that he could visit George.  I am waiting to hear back from Sukru as to when he will be making the visit to George in Alany Prison.  He said I would definitely not be allowed to visit George and he thought that prisoners there were not allowed any gifts whatsoever ... no newspaper ... no chocolates etc.  I will write again here when I know any more.  Thank you.  x Angela in Side x

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I got very good news today ... George will be let out of Alanya Prison at the end of this month ... so, not 2 years after all ... bet he is on top of the world now ... can't wait to see his cheeky face back here soon ... x Angela in Side x

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Yes he has been Ken ... after all, it was self defence as he was being robbed ... but of course he should not have been carrying a knife - probably illegally - and certainly should not have stabbed that guy ... but I feel he has paid his penance now and it's great news that we will see him soon.  x Angela in Side x

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I'm happy it all came out okay. As you probably know there's no telling what the court will decide, and that goes for any country. What a joy it must have been for him to be acquitted. And a relief for you as well. It's great to hear a happy ending to this story.

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Thanks for your kind words Ken.  Have just come back from 5 wonderful days at the Choo Choo Pension in Egirdir.  What a beautiful area that is and I was the only guest at the hotel, so they gave me 2 x rooms with an adjoining balcony with 4 purple chairs on it, overlooking the beautiful lake and tiny restaurant next to it that they own.  Lovely Turkish family and the 2 brothers who own Choo Choo both speak almost perfect English which is a bonus.  Nothing is too much trouble for them either.  It is called Choo Choo not because of the trains - there are none anywhere close by - but because the guy who started the hotel had that nickname.  He was English!  x Angela in Side x

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Yes - absolutely right there Ken - Choo Choo always stuck in my head after Sukru Ozen told me about it and what a beautiful place it was.  It really is... you won't be disappointed ... and take the boat trip for 2 hours with the fisherman around the lake ... only 120 TL for the 2 hours and you will probably be the only ones there.  The Thursday market in the town is also well worth a visit... I bought a black and gold pair of cork sandals ... not flip flops but real sandals ... for just 10 TL ... also a pair of black fluffy slippers for 10 TL ... bargains! x Angela in Side x

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The end result for George is that after the court hearing they found him mostly innocent of the crime as it was self-defence ... he was being robbed ... however, he should not have been carrying a knife of course and that knife was probably not registered, so it was illegal ... let alone to have stabbed the guy with it!  He is being released from Alanya Prison at the end of this month, October 2017.  x Angela in Side x

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Not such good news unfortunately ... George is in fact still in Alanya Close Prison ... for a total of 5 years ... I cannot seem to find out why they extended his stay there, or indeed why they chose to put him in the Close Prison instead of the Open Prison in Alanya.   George has written to me 4 x times to date and all very positive.  He says the food there is very good and so is the extensive library.  He tends to love reading and is doing so for 8 to 10 hours each day now.

It took 6 months for him to get my first letter to him in prison because they had to hire a translator as, of course, I wrote it in English ... so he has replied to me in Turkish and has asked that I do so in future also ... which I have done and then he gets the letters immediately.  Never thought about this before he mentioned it but it does make sense I guess.

Why they decided to put him in the Close Prison and not the Open Prison is anyone's guess.  But if he is a "Good Boy" then he will be transferred to the Open Prison in any case.  There are no time restraints on this transfer ... just wait and see ...

x Angela in Side x

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Yes Ibrahim Abi ... my thoughts exactly ... but I do wonder what on earth George was thinking?  I will write to him again later on this week if I get a chance but I am off to Adrasan on Friday morning for a week... x Angela in Side x

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Yes Ibrahim Abi ... my thoughts exactly ... but I do wonder what on earth George was thinking?  I will write to him again later on this week if I get a chance but I am off to Adrasan on Fri

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Does anybody here have the correct address for the Closed Prison in Alanya please ... so I can reply to George who has sent me 4 letters in total ... thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give me ... I did have it but have lost it now ... thanks again... x Angela in Side x

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