A reader sent us the following email this morning:
I’d like to bring your readers’ attention to something that hasn’t caught the foreign media outlets’ attention yet, but has been in the headlines of the Turkish media for the last couple of days. In Turkish you can refer to an article in Radikal, one of the main Turkish newspapers in the country, and some of the other Turkish media websites that are covering the story. including on TV.
In Şişli, which according to Wikipedia “is a crowded cosmopolitan district of Istanbul, Turkey, in the centre of the city,” 30 people have been arrested, including two doctors, a government official, and a property recorder (rough translation), who were caught murdering three non-Muslims. The word is gayrimüslim which translates as “other than Muslim”.
These people set up a system whereby an elderly person or one without extended family is threatened and finally killed for their property and worldly possessions. The articles highlight the fact that they were tied up domuz bağı; domuz means “pig” and bağı is “knot”; literally tied up like pigs and slaughtered.
The system worked like this: the doctors would say that these elderly people are mentally unstable and they would have other people recorded as the children of their target. The city’s “property recorder” would transfer the victim’s property to the murderers’ names. The targets were always non-Muslims, and were tied up like pigs and slaughtered, denoting the religious undertones to the crimes. Three bodies have already been dug up but the investigation has just started.
As a Christian originally from Turkey the memory of threats against my family and people that were not Muslim are still fresh in my memory, the constant harassment and abuse. When threats weren’t enough to buy out the Christian’s property at bargain prices, other methods were used like what was outlined above. This is happening TODAY, not 500 years ago. I think your readers should learn what kind of a culture Turkey is and how it treats its minorities.
Where is Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch??? They’re covering “Islamophobia”, and a Muslim family in London who feels like somebody might have looked at them the wrong way earlier in the day! Why aren’t they covering the catastrophe that has been happening to the Middle East’s Christians for the last 1400 years and is ongoing to this very day?
For those who can read Turkish, another news article in Turkish is available here.
With the help of Henrik at Europe News I was able to find a couple of articles in English on this story.
– – – – – – – – –
The version in Sabah — written in rather garbled English — refers to the criminals as a “real estate gang”, and says that the people were killed “with the method of Hezbollah” and “hogtie just like Hezbollah did”.
But Today’s Zaman has a more extensive article in good English. The details show why the involvement of doctors was necessary for the success of operations:
Deadly real estate theft gang uncovered by İstanbul police
Thirty people, including two doctors and the manager of the Beykoz Land Registry Cadastre Department, were detained on Thursday for suspected involvement in the extortion of real estate from elderly residents on the Asian side of İstanbul.
The İstanbul police department had launched an investigation after receiving a report that the body of Vanda Ayaşlı Esen had been found in İstanbul’s Beykoz district. The investigation revealed that Esen had sold her home only 20 days before her death. From there, the investigation led the police to the discovery of a gang that was stealing property from elderly people, most of whom were non-Muslims.
Esenli’s step-son Ibrahim Ayaşlı Esen was reportedly kidnapped by the gang to force his mother to hand over her residence on the Bosporus. After the police learned that Vanda Esen had been forced to sell her home, they notified the Beykoz Land Registry Cadastre Department, but the department failed to take any action.
Further investigation showed that the gang’s method was to infiltrate the households of their victims with someone posing as a domestic worker. The gang would then kidnap their victims and force them to sign contracts handing over their property to the members of the gang. After getting the necessary signatures to appropriate the properties, the gang killed their victims and buried their bodies. The total value of the properties extorted by the gang is reportedly $30 million.
The two doctors who were detained in the operation on Thursday are suspected of preparing reports that would show that the gang’s victims had died of natural causes. Beykoz Land Registry Cadastre Department Manager Gülten Doğan Temur is suspected of helping the gang sell the real estate they stole from their victims. Temur was appointed to the Beykoz Land Registry Cadastre Department in April 2007, and it is suspected that he had been helping the gang since then. The police found three bodies buried in the garden of a villa in Beykoz during the operations. The detainees were sent to the İstanbul Police Department for interrogation.
The police operation revealed that the gang had been forcing or blackmailing their victims to hand over their real estate. If the victims refused, they were hogtied, killed and buried in a forest in Beykoz.
Refer to Today’s Zaman for a more extensive account of the criminals’ activities.
It’s important to note that the gang made a point of killing only gâvur — infidels. One might describe the murderers as deranged, depraved, or inhuman, yet they retained their religious scruples. The precepts laid out in the Koran and the hadith were adhered to, and the victims were chosen carefully to avoid targeting the faithful.
There was nothing un-Islamic about these crimes.