Irish-Kuwaiti tourist returns to Turkey to fight accusations in street brawl case
DHA photoThe first hearing of the case involving an Irish-Kuwaiti tourist, who made headlines in August 2015 when video footage of his brawl with Turkish shopkeepers in Istanbul went viral, ended on March 29 at Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse.
Irish-Kuwaiti tourist Mohammed Fadel Dobbous is both a complainant and a suspect in the case, in which he once again squares off against shopkeepers Şenol Pala and Şerafettin Özbey.
“Suddenly, people came upon me from everywhere. I was trying to save my life. I was shocked. All this happened just for [a] water bottle,” Dobbous was quoted as saying in the trial.
Palan and Özbey claimed that the incident turned into a brawl after Fadel Dobbous’ friends were unable to buy alcohol in the shop and then returned to raid it.
“We are not the enemy of foreigners,” they said.
The indictment, which was prepared by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Mehmet Sami Çağlayan in January, said Dobbous legally defended himself in accordance with the 25th Article of Turkish criminal law on self-defense. The prosecutor demanded a three-to-nine-year sentence for Dobbous but left the decision to the court’s discretion, stressing that his actions were in line with self-defense.
Çağlayan demanded jail terms for three shopkeeper suspects, Palan, Özbey, and Mohammed Raie, ranging from five to seven years over charges of aggravated malicious wounding.
In the incident captured on camera, Dobbous can be seen going to a corner store in Istanbul’s Aksaray neighborhood to get a bottle of water before accidentally toppling all the bottles in a refrigerator after opening the door. The owner of the shop immediately confronted Dobbous, brandishing a stick and threatening him. Around 15 shopkeepers then can be seen coming to the shop owner’s support, confronting Dobbous with sticks to stools.
However, the tourist took on the “army of Turkish shopkeepers” one by one, expertly parrying blows as they hurled stools and sticks at him.
It later emerged that the Dobbous had in fact been a professional boxer.