Yesterday in Court

Yesterday my ‘tercuman’ (translator, also my boss) and I visited the Mersin courthouse 3 times for ‘electricity‘ issue.

We were told to arrive at 8:30 in the morning. After waiting around for a while we were told to come back at 11 am. At 11 it was the same story and we were told to return after 1 pm.

Finally, we entered the courtroom. The court was probably a small administrative claims type court, if such a thing exists.

The courtroom was cluttered with many stacks of files in various, seemingly random, locations.

Besides my translator and I there were up to 5 other people in the room. The judge sat elevated behind a table at the front of the room. To his right (‘stage left’) was an assistant. In front of the judge was a typist recording the spoken case details onto a computer.

To the left (‘stage right’) of the judge was a lawyer (I guess) who did not seem to have an active role and rocked up halfway through. I (‘the accused’) stood in the middle of a 3-sided ‘fence’ rising about 130 cm from the ground. Only the back was open.

My translator stood to my left, slightly towards the rear and a lawyer sat to his left. I believe this last lawyer was there in case each case’s defence wanted a lawyer but did not have one. We declined to request a lawyer. Both of the lawyers and the judge were wearing a gown of some sort.

Things dragged on for a while. This court sitting seemed to only be a preliminary hearing. The TEDAS expert was not there so the case was adjourned to October and we were free to leave the courthouse complex for the 3rd and final time that day.

In summary, from what I understand, the electricity meter for my apartment was allegedly tampered to reduce the recorded electricity use. I knew nothing about this and was shocked when this was discovered. My electricity bills were already high when compared to other apartments and their number of occupants. The supplier turned off the electricity supply to my apartment until the estimated amount owed was paid.

Since the court case is in progress, I don’t want to go into much further detail. However, I am very confident that no further action will be taken against me.

Electricity theft is a huge racket in Turkey and the current government has rightfully cracked down on this.

Some basic information about Turkey’s electricity industry.