Unfortunately, Single Male robberies continue in Istanbul. I received this message in February 2013:
“I wish I would have read your advice before I fell into this scam.
“You can put my story but not my name, please.
“Same thing in the same order happened to me. I read about this happening in London but never realised that it could happen in Turkey and to me. No Never.
“I am on my first trip to Turkey and first time on any personal / unofficial visit, alone (without my wife and kids or a group of friends).
“This night 7 Feb 2013, I was at Sultanahmet tram station buying token from machine, this well dressed male in his 40’s (as I am in my early 40’s) came to machine next to me. He started wondering around how to put money in n buy tokens and said something in Turkish, which I didn’t understand. Then he started speaking in broken English. I tried to help him, as I was helped by some one on Airportfor tokens.
“He said where are you going and I told him that I am going out for dinner at Galata bridge for sea food and a bit of walk. He said oh I am new here and my hotel receptionist (which he named as hotel next to mine) gave me this card about a pub and restaurant in Taksim.
“He suggested that why don’t we go there and have some drinks, some dance and then we will come back to Galata bridge for dinner. I said I don’t drink alcohol and I am not a “night out person”. He said no problem you can have tea or coffee. I said OK.
“Out of Sultanahmet and he was guiding taxi driver as well. Approaching a side road and he told him to go in that road. There were few pubs and streets but not very many people there in that street. We went into one pub / restaurant which was well decorated and furnished on ground floor but no customer was there. He took me straight to first floor. I asked him do you know this place and he said oh yes I have been here five times before. (Stupid me).
“We went up, where lights were dim and table dance was on. Girls were on different tables and around 20-25 people were sitting there. We were sent to a corner table. He asked for a drink and I asked for Coke. Within no time two girls came to us. One to his side and one with me. Next minute waiter came and asked about if I can get a drink for the girl next to me and I said OK. My new friend to pay drink of her new girl friend.
“The girl next to me introduced herself as Russian and in Turkey for four years, in night club business. Dancers came to us as well. One of them with big boobs went to table next to us and showed her butts to us. Next minute second girl came to me, moved a bit and asked for Tip, to which I said I have just come, let me relax and come back later. Of course she wasn’t very happy and asked how much later, one hour? I said yes.
“In the meantime my new girl friend ordered second drink. She tried to indulge in different discussions but I didn’t and I told her that I am not a good company. I was feeling uneasy there. I told my friend that I am not easy here and I am not enjoying and I want to go. To which he said what happened? Just wait 30 min and we will go.. I said No. I am going. He said I have ordered Kebab for you and I said ‘ I didn’t ask for kebab. Why you ordered it?
“He tried to stop me by different excuses but I picked up my jacket and stood up to which he said ok you pay the bill and go. When I was given the bill TL 900 (£335), to which I objected. Manager said you agreed to pay drinks of all four. I said No. I only agreed for drinks of the girl. After a little argument he said ok you pay us half and you go. I said why half. I will pay for drink of mine (2x coke, as I drink coke very quickly, and as soon as I finished mine they brought me another one which was on the table when I left) and for the girl which I agreed.
“He showed me menu card and said girl drink is TL 100 each x 2 + coke TL 10 x 2 + TL 100 for dry fruits TL 100 for fresh fruits, so give me 450 and you go. I said I don’t have that many with me and I didn’t order all that stuff. He said how much do you have and I said 200. He said ok give 200. (I wanted to get out of this situation ASAP so I gave him that and left the place. Thanks God they did not ask for credit card, check my pockets as I had 200 more cash in my trouser pocket, my iPhone in my jacket and credit cards etc with me). I paid 200 and left the place as quickly as I can.
“Out on street and my friend came running after me oh what happened brother. Why are you doing like this. I said Fuck Off you Bastard. Let me go. He said you need to take me with you, as I have paid 700 TL so I don’t have any money with me. I said you have ruined the trust and love for turkey with which I came to this place. Then I started walking up on main road and he stopped on a bus stop.
“Few minutes later he came after me in a taxi and offered me lift. I showed him finger, abused him and walked away (not nice and good as he might had some weapon with him). I walked for good 2 km up the road (in case any next taxi driver might be part of gang) and then had a taxi and came back to my hotel.
“I did some sensible things before I left hotel that night. I left all pounds Stirling in hotel, which I have been carrying in different pockets for three days. I divided up Turkish currency, with half in wallet and half in my front jeans pocket. I left my Brand new Rado and was having a citizen watch on me. But thanks God they did not ask for any thing else I.e phone, watch, credit card etc.
“At the time when we were arguing, I turned back and looked at the girls and they disappeared within no time from there.
“I have few more days here, going to Ankara tomorrow and coming back to Istanbul before flying back to Edinburgh on 11th February.”