ISTANBUL: A group of taxi drivers attacked a group of Arab tourists near Istanbul’s Taksim Square on June 21 after the tourists reacted against the price of the fare, which they said was much too high for the ride. The incident was caught on the camera at around 9 p.m. on the cell phone of a local bystander.
The tourists from Saudi Arabia reportedly landed in Istanbul on the same day and got in a taxi at the airport. After arriving at their hotel in the Talimhane neighborhood, located next to Taksim Square in the Beyoğlu district, the taxi driver asked them for the fare, which the tourists said was hugely “overpriced.”
After the argument between the taxi driver and tourists escalated, other taxi drivers appeared on the scene in support of the former.
The incident comes after an Istanbul court in April ordered one year and three months in jail for a taxi driver who extended the journey of a group of Saudi tourists in order to extract a higher fare. The extension ultimately caused the tourists to miss their flight.
The taxi driver was found guilty on charges of “attempted aggravated fraud.”
Back on Sept. 24, 2017, three Saudi Arabian tourists had hailed the taxi in the Karaköy neighborhood on Istanbul’s European side to go to Sabiha Gökçen Airport, which is on the Asian side.
The taxi reportedly crossed to the Asian side and returned to the European side twice, carrying the customers who wanted to get to the airport to take a flight back to Saudi Arabia.
According to the prosecutors’ indictment, the taxi driver realized that the Saudi tourists were not familiar with Istanbul so took them over the Bosphorus Strait to the Asian side via the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, which is over a hundred kilometers away from the city center, before returning to the European side again. He then further extended the trip by taking a longer route to the airport, overcharging them and causing them to miss their flight.__Hurriyet