Man jailed for not belting up

Six years ago, on a flight from Turkey to the TRNC, Alev Ozdemir refused to wear a seat belt when instructed to do so.

Upon arrival he was arrested at Ercan airport and released until his court hearing. He disappeared back to Turkey before the court date.

Last Friday he flew in to the TRNC but his previous offense came up on the computer and he was again arrested.

On Monday he was in court, charged with endangering flight safety. Mr Ozdemir’s defence was that he could not bear to wear a seat belt because when his wife was pregnant she had been involved in a traffic accident, and even though she had been wearing a seat belt, the accident had been fatal. Ever since then he had a phobia against wearing seat belts.

The judge was not moved however, and ordered him serve a 6 month jail sentence. He also had to pay a bond of 5,000 TL to guarantee that he would not commit a similar crime in the next 2 years.

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