In year 1987. I purchased brand new Ford Taunus 1.6 passenger car, personally upgraded my status from poor local Anadol Station. Car was new. Driving was so smooth, so wonderful. We planned go to Istanbul on the new highway. On a Sunday morning, we left home early, approaching the highway entrance. My wife was on my right. Kids were at the back seat. Singing all so happy. But a big truck was going ahead of me, creating huge exhaust fumes entering into our car. I couldn't pass him since there was "No pass!" Warning sign. I try to obey to traffic signs but this time, but due to huge truck exhaust in our car, I passed the truck and a traffic police car stopped me. "Park your car, your driving license?? Your car papers??" Penalty "55" something. I paid traffic fine many times earlier, mostly speeding etc. This time I wanted to check if I could reduce the amount. "Is there anything we can do, Sir??" Saying something loose to mean many things. Policeman in the car asked "How much cash do you have ?" I said 20. "OK, give me 20 and leave!!" I asked a receipt. He said "Are you kidding?? What receipt?" Yes I gave 20 with no fine receipt, but I wished to pay 55 afterwards.
This summer I worked in Koc Holding Entek plant for their 30 Mwe new extension project as owner's engineer. No summer holiday, no seaside all summer. In September we completed the work at site, activities almost in routine, then me and my wife decided to go to Mediterranean coast to stay with our close relatives for a reasonable summer holiday for 1-week. Our spending was reasonable. Weather was still hot. Sea was warm. Schools are open so no crowd around. Empty seashore. We spent one week. Then kids arrived at the weekend. I should return to Ankara on Sunday night. My eldest said, "Father lets us go from a different route, via Manavgat, Akseki, Konya. Road is new. Scenery is beautiful." I agreed, so I slept half way at the back seat and then took the driving in Konya. At Ankara entrance I was stopped by traffic at late night at about 0130AM. Not only me but many other private cars coming from long distance. Routine paper controls as it appeared. I had no fear since my papers were all in order. No speeding, no dangereous passing. But I had 1-week old beard. In relaxed summer mood I had no shaving. So I could be a shop-owner, not an nfluencial public employee. One officer took the initiative and said, "Your right- front parking light is off". Fine is 32mTL something." I said nothing, agreeing to pay the fine. "You have any cash?" Now he changed the procedure. I noticed the red flag. That is the code for asking cash money. In accordance with new legislation, there is no cash traffic fine payment on the spot. That means something you should understand and respond in order to avoid high penalty. I said "I have no cash with me, driving all night" Officer scrutinised once again. "Let us see your past records. Hello operator, here is driving license, give me the past records". The other end replied in the wireless, "No records this year, all clean". I try to drive very carefully taking no risks. Officer started to write the fine, probably in vain, at late hour, all pain no gain for himself, while there was easier and much cheaper solution available.
The next morning I accessed to my local bank's Internet banking web page and paid 32mTL with one tick. Now I feel more comfortable. I believe that I did the best thing. You also think so ?? I am not accusing the system. They are trying to improve themselves but there can be some foul apples in the basket. On the other hand I do not know what I would do if the fine were 100 or 1000 or more. What do you think??
Dear Haluk Bey
First, you shouldn't have deprived Turkish cows of the pleasure of eating your car. Anadol has always been known to be such a treat for the cows, some say fiberglass is what made Turkish beef so tasty. However, you are entitled, as we all are, to a car made of recycled Japanese steel.
Asking for a receipt for the bribe was a brilliant idea. Apparently the policeman didn't want to go in the Guinness Book of Records as the dumbest cop in the world. But I think you should pursue this idea. If you can persuade bribe takers to issue receipts, which would make bribes taxable, everyone would win. If I form the Turkish Government some day, which is highly unlikely, please remind me to ask you to join me as the Finance Minister.Best Regards
Ata Guven, Vancouver, Canada