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Friday, December 23, 2005

Bloomberg.com: Crime Rises in Turkey as Economic Gains Evade Poor

Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Mercan Akdogan woke up to see a balaclava-clad man standing in her bedroom brandishing a knife. ``He introduced himself, shook my hand, and warned me not to call the police,'' Akdogan, a 30-year-old translator from Istanbul, said in a telephone interview on Dec. 5. ``He stole a bagful of stuff. Then as he was leaving he turned to me and said: `You know, you really should bolt your door.''' Burglaries in Turkey leaped 51 percent in the first half of 2005, police figures show. Crime is increasing as a four-year economic boom bypasses the poor and leaves 9.4 percent of the population without work, said Hilal Akgul, a researcher at Istanbul's Bilgi University.