fredag 15 april 2011

Gladan & Turkey

As you may know we sailed away Monday the 11th of April in the afternoon for Alanya in Turkey to show our catamaran Gladan to a prospective buyer – and onboard with us the crew - our dear friends Göran and Lena – who also sailed with us to the Black Sea last September – and their son Måns and his French girlfriend. I had fixed food for our sailing during the Sunday and everything looked perfect!

We sailed away out of Paphos harbour about two o´clock in the afternoon and the weather was OK but after two hours the wind increased up to 13.5 – 15 m/sec. Then our crew got terribly seasick and at least one of them – no name mentioned was womitting heavily all night through and we did hardly see them until the next morning when we were just outside the marina of Alanya.

Sven and I sailed the boat throughout the night in two hours´ turns. The wind continued to increase throughout the night – reaching the maximum around midnight. at almost 22 m/sec – and that is more than gale – we name it storm in Swedish. The waves were very high reaching up to 6 meters. Gladan behaved well in the rough sea. She of course sailed up on the tops of the waves and from there she dived down with a terrtible “bang” and the whole boat was shaking. It was worse than riding a roller-coaster! I – Maj – was sitting in the sofa when the highest wave I have ever seen was slamming into the boat so I jumped out from the sofa and landed on the floor. You could not move without holding tightly to the handles. Thank Good the wind slowed down when we were closing up to the Turkish coast and in the morning the wind almost ceased. We were very relieved entering the marina at about 11 o´clock Tuesday morning knowing that we had gone through the worst weather with Gladan since we bought her! Even when we crossed the North Sea the waves were never that high.

After mooring Sven went to check in the boat and the crew and I started preparing the lunch.

Then HELL brook loose when they discovered that we according to their computer still were in Turkey – me, Sven, Lena and Göran - since our trip last autumn! Obviously we were not checked out from Turkey – though we had a check out paper that said so. We learnt that Turkey is the only country in Europe where you must have a transit visa sailing in the Turkish archipelago and you have to have an exit stamp in your passport when living Turkey. We did lear it the very hard way!

They tried to help us to sort things out so they drove Sven to the main office of the Marina Police in Alanya and he was away for almost two hours. When he came back he was escorted by the Police only to pick also Lena, Göran and me for questioning. It was about three o´clock and we thought they would sort it out very fast so we went away in shorts and T-shirt. After hours at the Police station where we counted to up to ten policemen we where then driven by two policemen to a hospital for medical examination and it was about ten o´clock in the evening. Then the policemen drove us back to the station and after a long waiting they drove us to the main police station where we were searched, had to leave finger prints and they took photos of us from the front, both sides of our faces with our identity numbers in front of us. They wrote down all our personal things, money, mobiles and jewellery – papers that both we and they signed. We thought that is was a bad movie – but we started to be somewhat scared. Once again we went back to the first police station and eleven o´clock in the evening they told us that they were taking to Antalya – 1½ hours drive from Alanya. We did not believe what we heard and we told them that we were freezing to death in our shorts and that we were terribly hungry. So the police drove us to the boat to pick up some clothes and to have something to eat – but they gave us only 20 minutes. So we arrived to the police station in Antalya for prisoners being illegal in Turkey and it was about one in the morning. After one hour they locked me and Lena in the woman-prison with women from Russia, Azerbadjang – one woman had a two weeks old baby that cried during the night and in the morning. Still we thought it was a night mare. We were locked in until eleven in the morning and then they took us out to sign some papers – and then back again to be locked in. Then again they came and took us to the head policeman of the station and then the Swedish consul came to helping us to translate. They were about to send us up again but we insisted to see Sven and Göran and finally they brought them down to us. The police told us that they did not know if they were able to finalise our case during the day so perhaps we had to stay in prison another night – and then we were locked in again. After a couple of hours though we were picked up again and driven back to Alanya, to the police station to pick up another policeman and then to the marin police and then to the custom police and at six o´clock we were escorted by four policemen to the boat and we got our passports back and was deported together with Gladan out of the harbour. They asked us to leave immediately and of course we did! I have never in my life been that happy leaving a marina!

Our fine for being illegaly in Turkey was being deported and not allowed to enter Turkish territory in 24 months. We could not be happier because we will never go to Turkey again. Do you understand why?

We sailed into Paphos marina at three o´clock this afternoon – and when we think back we cannot believe that this unbelievable story happened to us.

If we sold Gladan? No - we spent all our 31 hours in Turkey - from arrival to deportation - either escorted by policemen, at police stations or in prison – so no –we did not sell her and now we are as I wrote forbidden to visit Turkey during the coming two years. They told us that we could write to the Embassy of Turkey in Stockholm to ask them to lower the time set – but we all said NO!

Do you believe what you read? This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth….

If you miss pictures? No cameras allowed!

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