Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Free Marco Weiss

Do you remember the story of the 12 year old British girl who had sex with a 19 year old Turkish waiter whilst on holiday in Turkey? Do you remember the hoo-haa that followed? The Muslim wedding, the press coverage and exclusive interviews for sums of money undisclosed from News of The World and The Sun tabloid papers.

It all blew away, presumably the girl went back to school and the waiter became a small celebrity and starred as himself in a film about the whole sordid affair.

What you haven’t seen on the news and it appears only now to have trickled into the British press, is the incarceration in Turkey, of Marco Weiss, 17, a volunteer with a German aid agency. He is accused of assaulting a 13 year old girl, known as Charlotte M, from Manchester, at a hotel in the resort of Antalya during the Easter holiday. He was arrested after the girl’s mother filed a complaint against him.

Reading both versions of the story, this was a holiday flirt that went horribly wrong. There is no ‘assault’, just the debate did the kid prematurely eject with or with out the fully clothed girl’s encouragement, whilst in her hotel bedroom. The mother reported Marco Weiss to the police. He has been sharing a cell with 30 other prisoners since April 11th. Turkish prisons aren’t exactly up to European specs!
Marco’s father, a taxi driver, is suffering from leukaemia and can ill afford to see his son for the allowed 8 minutes a week.

The whole sorry affair has now blown into a full scale political row between Berlin and Ankara. The biggest tabloid in Europe, the German Bild Zeitung, is having a field day stirring up passions and a large percentage of the German population see this as another reason for not allowing Turkey into the European Union. Pressure is building against the German government to appeal to the girl’s mother to drop the charges and let Marco, described as a model student, to go home.

I think it is a good idea before this gets really out of hand. I would be the first to say a big thank-you to Charlotte M. and her family.

After all, Antalya is well known for the type of clientele that frequent its cheap all inclusive resorts, little girls who are 13 but look older, who seem to have access to alcohol and are allowed by their parents to stay out late at night in discos.

The Turkish authorities have now requested help in questioning the girl from the British police.

Article in today’s The Times at

Latest article in Germany’s Bild Zeitung

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