|AT CHARTER START|
On Sunday the 7th of October 2001 3 men came to our office in Güllük to charter a yacht.
They were brought by a friend from Bodrum in his technical services minibus and mentioned the name of Murat a friend of ours from Network in Bodrum who had recommended us.
The LALE 8 was laying idle at our jetty, so we were happy to be able to rent it for the asked period of 2 weeks.
Being carefull whom we rented the boat to because they had already stolen another boat from us that year, we asked the Harbour Master and the Coast Guard for their OK on these people. They checked and told us that everything was OK, nobody had something negative on these people; and we recalled the name of the frenchman Bernard RENAUD born in 1963 that had been working for several years in Göcek.
The captain with a captains licence from MERSIN of 1997 was Cüneyt KURT a Turkish man born in 1974 from HATAY ISKENDERUN and the 3d man was Özer ÇAPIN born in 1968 from BALIKESIR.
The captain signed the charter contract nr 01S32 and paid for the charter, the transitlog, taxes and the autopilot-rental; and as security deposit he could not give us a cheque or a credit card slip, so he paid cash and he said that they would be sailing in the Bodrum - Marmaris area and would bring the boat back on Saturday 20th of October 2001 at 18:00 hours.
|FETCHED BY THE GREEK COAST GUARD|
On Thursday the 11th of October 2002 Mimi a greek friend of ours saw on the evening news that the LALE 8 was brought to Lavrio by the Coast Guard with people on board.
She did not know how to reach us so she gave the message to one of our Dutch agents Pim and he brought us the astonishing message.
We got some telephone numbers of harbour officials in Lavrio and started calling and asking what had happened.
Because it was not so easy to find the right man at the right time in Lavrio we understood from them on Saturday what had happened and I planned to go to Greece by plane on Sunday.
On Saturday around 12:00 hours I got a telephone call from a lawer Mrs Sofia Apostolou and she asked me for a authorisation to represent us at the court in Athens and she told us she needed this immediately if not we would loose the boat. So I send her a fax with the wanted information and I told her that I would be in Athens on Sunday.
|FIRST TRIP FROM TURKEY TO GREECE|
On Sunday the 14th of October 2002 I boarded the Bodrum - Istanbul Turkish Airlines flight at 6:00 hours and flew afterwards from Istanbul to Athens.
After arrival I made contact with Sofia and she told me a Mr Murat (a Turkish friend of hers) would come and help me find her office in Athens.
Murat told me to take the airport bus to Syntagma Square and he would be awaiting me in front of Mc Donalds; after some complications and telephone-calls (because I left the bus at an earlier square where also a Mc Donalds was situated), Murat found me and we traveled together by taxi to Mrs Sofia's office in the middle of 'old' Athens close to Omonia Square.
The office of Sofia is in a very colourful neigbourhoudm a district where alle the foreigners live; the streets are filled with pakistani, kurdish people and chinees, most of them men.
Nice but strang smells from indian spices come from all sorts of shops and restaurants.
Garbage everywhere, fish sold from the trunc of an old car and road-maintenance everywhere.
After our first talk in which we descided that the official part with notary authorisations a.s.o. had to wait until tomorrow, Sofia left for other business and Murat accompanied me to PATISSIA Hotel a cheap but proper hotel at some distance from Omonia Square, because the hotels near Omonia are very expensive or simple. We said to have dinner together that night but Sofia was bacj too late, the following day I understood she had been busy looking after the 39 stowed-away people from our boat, that where dropped somewhere in a building in Lavrio.
So I walked through Athens in the vicinity of OMONIA Square and got to know a little bit how different Greek people behave; on the streets they keep bumping into you (I am not used to that in Turkey) and everything is written in Greek; you want to go to Syntagma square? then you must know the Greek alphabet or you cannot read the signs on the busses. What a modern man ATATÜRK was in 1923 when he descided to change the Arabic alphabet of the Turkish language.
Monday the 15th started again with waiting for Sofia and Murat offered me coffee in the cafe at the corner of Elefteria Park.