The Unique Cast Iron Church of Istanbul

The Bulgarian St. Stephen Church in Istanbul, Turkey, has the detailed ornaments of an Orthodox stone church, but it’s actually made of prefabricated cast iron elements.

Sometimes referred to as ‘The Iron Church’, St. Stephen Church is considered the largest prefabricated cast iron building in the world. It consists of thousands of prefabricated pieces of cast iron, from large walls, to small, intricate decorations, all of which weigh over 500 tons. As almost the entire structure and its exquisite décor are cast out of iron, a close inspection reveals the heads of the large screws holding it together everywhere you look.

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Huge Sinkholes Are Swallowing Up Turkey’s Farmland

Hundreds of new sinkholes have been reported in Turkey’s agriculturally-focused Konya Province since the start of the year, almost double the number registered last year, and apparently it’s yet another man-made problem.

Konya Provine, located in the eponymous Konya Plain, has always been known as Turkey’s breadbasket or green silo, because of the vast sea of wheat spanning every which way, as far as the eye can see. But while Konya remains the country’s main agricultural center, the persistent drought plaguing farmers in this area has caused an unforeseen problem that has only been getting worse in recent years – sinkholes. As cultivators increasingly turn to groundwater to keep their crops alive, the giant caverns drained of water eventually collapse under the weight of the soil above, creating holes tens of meters across and up to 150-meters-deep.

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Turkish Woman Fakes Oxford University Studies to Con Poor Mother into Sending Her Money

Media outlets worldwide have been reporting the shocking case of a young Turkish woman who had allegedly been allegedly conning her poor mother into sending her money by claiming that she was studying medicine at the prestigious Oxford University, in the UK. In reality, she was living it up while working as a real estate agent in Istanbul.

25-year-old Merve Bozkurt has attracted a lot of criticism for her actions, after it was revealed that she had been lying to her penniless mother for years, as a way of getting extra money from her. The woman went to great lengths to make her parent believe that she had been admitted at the prestigious English university, where she was studying to become a doctor. She even sent her mother photos of herself wearing a white robe and face mask, to create the illusion that she was doing hands-on medical training. All the while, the poor mother was selling flowers in front of a cemetery in the city of Antakya, to support her daughter.

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Man And Swan Have Been Best Friends for the Last 37 Years

A retired postman from Turkey and a beautiful white swan have been inseparable for nearly four decades, and the story of their amazing friendship has melted the hearts of millions.

When Recep Mirzan spotted a wounded swan in a filed in Turkey’s Edirne province, in 1984, he had no idea that he was about to meet his best friend. He was in a car with a group of friends, when he spotted a swan that appeared to have a broken wing in an empty field. Mirzan quickly realized that leaving the bird there was the same as signing its death sentence, as predators would have most likely eaten it, so he stopped the car and took the bird with him. He kept in the car until evening, when he took it home and started nursing it back to health.

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Mysterious Benefactor Settles People’s Debts in Poor Turkish Neighborhoods

Poor families in the Turkish city of Istanbul have been visited by a mysterious patron paying off their debts at grocery stores and leaving envelopes of cash on their doorsteps over the past year.

Last week, many poor people in Tuzla, a shipbuilding district on the Asian side of Istanbul ,were happy to find out that their debts at local grocery stores had been paid by an unknown male benefactor who claimed to be doing the selfless deeds “only to earn God’s blessing”. After the crash of the Turkish lira last year, food prices soared, as did the prices of utilities like electricity, and the unemployment rate. The rising cost of living has been hard to keep up with some people, but this mysterious benefactor is doing his best to help the poorest people in Istanbul.

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Turkish Minor Seen Smoking at Football Stadium Turns Out to Be 36-Year-Old-Man

Viewers of an exhibition match between two major football clubs last Sunday were outraged to see what looked like a child puffing away on a cigarette in the stands. However, the smoker turned out to be a lot older than he appeared.

During a televised exhibition match between Bursaspor and Fenerbahce, two of Turkey’s biggest football clubs, viewers were treated to some disturbing-looking scenes. As the reporter interviewed someone on the pitch while the players were warming up, the cameras jumped to a couple of young Bursa fans in the stands, one of whom was eagerly puffing on a tobacco cigarettes. Everyone was outraged, and the short clip spread on social media like wildfire.

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Turkish Beekeeper Enlists Thieving Bears as Honey Testers

İbrahim Sedef, an experienced beekeeper from Turkey’s Black Sea Region, has come up with an ingenious way of having his honey tested by the same bears that used to steal it.

Agricultural engineer and beekeeper İbrahim Sedef had been struggling to deal with thieving bears for over four months, but nothing worked. When he tried covering his precious beehives with steel cages, the bears toppled to get to the precious honey, when he reinforced the cages with a cement base, they just dug in the ground and toppled them again. Even raising the hives higher up didn’t help as the bears just climbed up to reach them. So earlier this month, Sedef decided to stop looking for solutions and at least use the bears’ appetite for honey to his advantage.

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Turkish Inmate Escapes Prison by Switching Places with Twin Brother

A 19-year-old convicted killer in Turkey managed to escape from prison by allegedly switching places with his twin brother when he came to visit him.

Murat A. was serving a long prison sentence for murder at the E Tipi Kapası Prison in Mersin, southern Turkey when his twin brother, Huseyin, came to visit him last Thursday. They were apparently allowed to meet face to face and they used this opportunity to swap places. A photo of the two shows that they are not exactly identical, but it turns out they looked enough alike to trick prison guards into allowing Murat to just walk out of the detention facility. It’s not yet clear why the inmate’s brother agreed to take his place in a maximum security prison, but an investigation is ongoing.

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Turkish Soccer Player Allegedly Uses Concealed Blade to Slash Opposing Players During Match

Mansur Çalar, a 33-year-old soccer player from Turkey, has been accused of using a concealed sharp object to repeatedly slash players of the opposing team during a third-division game last weekend.

Allegations against the footballer started pouring in on Monday after several players from Turkish club Sakaryaspor, the club Çalar’s team, Amedspor, had played against a day before, started posting photos of sustained slash wounds online. Some had scratch-like marks on their arms, others on their backs and necks, but they all accused Mansur Çalar, asking that he be reprimanded. Both the accused and his club dismissed the allegations, but then a video collage showing Çalar’s behavior in several tense moments during the Sunday match went viral online and authorities opened an official investigation.

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Man Swallowed Diamond Ring at Jewellery Store Because He “Fell Into a Trance”

An Irish man who swallowed an expensive diamond ring at a jewellery store in Turkey recently told prosecutors that he wasn’t himself when he did it, because he “fell into a trance” the moment he saw the beautiful diamond.

Ian Campbell, who was vacationing in the Turkish seaside resort of Marmaris, was arrested on October 4, 2018, after swallowing a $40,000 diamond ring at a local jewellery store. Eyewitnesses later told police that Campbell swallowed the jewel in desperation, after realizing that he was going to be caught trying to steal it. Prosecutors instructed police to take the would-be-thief to the local hospital, where he was administered laxatives to help him “return” the 2.5-carat diamond ring by natural means. Turkish media tracked the “journey” of the jewel through Campbell’s stomach almost in real time, but sadly it got stuck and had to be surgically removed.

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Lonely Man Faces Jail Time for Calling Police 45,000 Times in One Year

A 55-year-old Turkish man is facing up to five years in jail for “preventing public officials from performing their duty”. His crime – phoning the police 45,210 times in just one year.

Şeref Can, a divorced man from Istanbul’s Bayrampaşa district, allegedly called the police line well over 100 times per day between May 15, 2017 and May 15, 2018, but never once made any sort of complaint or asked police assistance. Instead, he only tried to make conversation with whoever picked up the phone. At one point, police staff became so irritated by Can’s unusual habit that they filed a complaint about him with Istanbul Police’s communications and electronics department. After confirming that Can had called the 115 emergency number a total of 45,210 times in a year, investigators charged him with “obstructing service of public institutions”.

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Turkish Football Club Sells 18 Players to Buy 10 Goats and Generate Income

Gulspor, a small football club from one of Turkey’s lowest divisions, recently sold 18 of its players in order to buy 10 goats and generate extra income from milk and meat sales.

The club’s president, Kenan Büyükleblebi, told Turkish media that the unusual decision was dictated by lack of funds, as there are virtually no sponsorships or government investments for teams performing in lower leagues. Gulspor sold 18 of its youth players for around 15,000 Turkish lira ($2,600), which was enough to buy 10 goats. It may not seem like a great business decision, but Büyükleblebi claims the club is estimated to generate a yearly profit of 4,000-5,000 lira from the sale of milk and meat. In fact, it plans to build a herd of 140 goats in the next few years.

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Turkish Cafe Keeps Live Lion in Narrow Glass Box as Entertainment for Customers

A cafe in Istanbul, Turkey, has been accused of animal cruelty after a video of a young lion nervously pacing back and forth in a narrow glass box inside the venue went viral online.

The owner of Mevzoo, an animal cafe in Istanbul’s Beykoz district has been accused of animal cruelty and abuse after videos of Khaleesi, a one-year-old lion, pacing through a glass box built in the center of the cafe and chasing after a small girl were shared on social media. People were outraged that an endangered wild animal was confined to a space less than a meter wide, which was barely enough for it to turn around, and used as entertainment. And feedback kept getting worse after it was revealed that Mevzoo also uses parrots and other rare birds, caged crocodiles and horses to attract customers.

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Turkish Soccer Fan Banned from Stadium Rents Crane to See His Team Play Live

A die-hard fan of Turkish soccer club Denizlispor recently made international headlines after renting a crane so he could watch his team play in a league game, after being banned from the stadium for one year.

37-year-old Ali Demirkaya, a.k.a. ‘Amigo Ali’ is well-known as one of Denizlispor most fanatic suporters, and this weekend he proved his love for the club once again, literally going above and beyond just to see the team play Gaziantepspor. Following his involvement in an incident that occurred during one of Denizlispor’s games in 2015, Demirkaya was banned from entering his team’s stadium for one year, in 2017. However, he always contested the decision and vowed to not let it stop him from being close to the action and cheering his boys on. This past weekend, he fulfilled his promise.

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Library of Abandoned Books – Garbage Collectors in Turkey Open Library with Books Destined for the Landfills

An incredible new library has opened in the Çankaya district of Ankara, Turkey featuring a collection of salvaged books once destined for landfill.

Local sanitation workers, who spent months collecting abandoned and discarded books from the streets, established the library to be used by themselves and their families. As the collection grew, however, word spread throughout the community, and locals began to donate books that they would have otherwise discarded. In September of last year, the Sanitation Department decided to open the library up to public use.

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