Stop and Search

Fellow jobbing blogger Deborah writes Bitten by Spain, an amusing narrative of living on the Iberian rural edge. Deborah commented on my recent post about the Turkish Government’s attempt to curb suicidal driving. Deborah wrote:

‘We have an absurd situation here at the moment whereby the Spanish police are stopping to fine all extranjeros for driving in sandals without heel straps, or not having the dog belted into the back seat. During this operation a moped can be passing unsanctioned bearing two adults with a child sandwiched between them and a goat in the front basket. And none of them will be wearing helmets.’

It made me think of our own experiences of the local Jandarma. Road blocks are common, particularly at night. Drivers are routinely stopped and their particulars checked. The authorities are looking for drunk drivers and uninsured or un-roadworthy vehicles, all too common offences hereabouts. It’s the Law in Turkey to carry ID at all times. We often forget. Being Brits we’re just not used to it. We’ve been stopped a number of times by a youth in an ill-fitting uniform. On each occasion we smiled sweetly, spoke politely in English and were waved on. We assumed the spotty conscript just didn’t think it was worth the hassle. Or maybe we were just lucky.

8 thoughts on “Stop and Search

  1. No one likes being stopped by the police; why do we feel nervous and uneasy even when we haven’t done anything wrong?! But being stopped while in another country is definitely nerve-wracking. I’m fortunate my interactions with Dutch police have been relatively pleasant (except for my hefty fine) and professional. Glad yours have been likewise.

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  2. And don’t you love how you can buy alcohol at service stations, as well as receive a ‘gift’ for filling up the tank. We’ve collected glass tumblers, utensils, and detergent. I’m holding out for one of the giant pink stuffed animals.

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  3. It appears to be a world-wide phenomenon that traffic police come in two models – the stick-like, gangly, angular variety (with compulsory pimples) or the I’ve-just-swallowed-a-beachball type. Is this true?

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  4. We were stopped a few years back when driving a hire car on the highway south from Ayvalik. The police asked for papers, we showed them a passport, and that really was about it. No big deal.

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  5. Up till now I have been treated with respect and courtesy, we had American guests with us recently and they where amazed how pleasant traffic police and Jandarma are in Turkey to foreigners. I respect the security here it is a great thing to feel secure and that there is a force out there checking peoples ID. I don’t like big brother societies but it does not feel like that here. I see security cameras all over London and don’t feel comfortable with that I also grew up in Belfast which started all that sort of thing as an experiment before it got exported to the UK, I think this country manages it so much better we all have a right to feel free and being watched all the time is not freedom in my view. A hands on method which seems to be used here is so much more reassuring, I expect people may disagree with this depending on their experience .

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