Man ‘sells’ historical bridge to waste collectors in a fraud incident in Turkey

In a latest fraud incident, a Turkish man has “sold” a historical bridge in the capital Ankara to waste collectors who demolished the bridge for its iron and steel.

Claiming that “the legal authorities he applied for the demolition of the historical Gömleksiz Bridge in the Beypazarı district transferred it to him as he is a veteran,” Z.K. was detained and arrested.

“I received 60,000 Turkish Liras [$3.200] from Y.Ç. in exchange for the iron coming out of the bridge,” he said in his statement. He was imprisoned for two-and-a-half months and then was released pending a trial.

Y.Ç., one of the three partners who bought the bridge, from which 24 tons of iron and scrap were extracted, said he paid a total of 98,000 liras ($5.200) for the demolition of the bridge and the iron removed. They are now on trial for “theft.”

While providing information to the court through its lawyers, the General Directorate of Highways said, “The bridge has not been used by the directorate since a new bridge was built.”

“The demolition of these bridges is carried out by auction method. Z.K. committed the crime of open theft with malicious intent without obtaining any permission. It was the property of the directorate, it was not given to anyone, it was openly stolen,” it added.

The investigation came after the gendarmerie’s patrol around the area, after which the command asked the General Directorate of Highways about the missing bridge.

When the 500-meter-long bridge, built in 1936 on Beypazarı’s Kirmir Stream, was severely damaged in the flood disaster in 1978, a new one was built right next to it.

An employee of the nearby gas station said he saw the work on the bridge but did not suspect it due to “the relaxed demeanor of Z.K. and the others” and mistook the official demolition.

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