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06 04 19 - Turkish "mafia chiefs" arrested in Azerbaijan By Yegana Mammadova

BAKU - The Azeri police have arrested criminal bosses Suleyman Cakir and Memati. Even invincible baron Karahanli is in jail. These are the aliases of
a group of young Azeris who set up a gang inspired by a Turkish blockbuster movie - Kurtlar Vadisi, or Valley of the Wolves.

Armed with knives and gas pistols, they committed dozens of robberies and burglaries in various parts of the capital Baku, police say. Baku's Nizami
District police have arrested four members of the gang so far. The ringleader, or the baron, is identified as a student of the University of
Economics. Like in many countries of the world, Kurtlar Vadisi has won immense popularity in Azerbaijan.

The serial, which is broadcast by commercial ANS television on Saturdays and Sundays, tells the story of an elite intellegence officer, Polat Alemdar,
who fights to bring down the mafia. Kurtlar Vadisi has caused similar problems in Turkey. Some experts blamed a recent spike in teenage violence in Turkey on the television serial.

Reports said the violence, which mainly hit Istanbul, Adana and Mersin, left several students dead and almost 50 more injured. The private Show TV channel in Turkey has recently stopped screening the serial. The Turkish media said the channel did so after demands by a government body overseeing radio and TV broadcasts. But Azerbaijan's TV and Radio roadcasting Council does not see a need to do the same here.

Mehdi Mammadov of the broadcasting council does not believe that the Turkish movie can have too much adverse effect on the psycology of teenagers. "There
are a lot of movies on criminals. They have always been screened. This movie has won popularity just because it is one of a few professional films
produced by fraternal Turks," Mammadov told Baku Sun. He also dismissed reports that the criminal group arrested in Baku was inspired by Kurtlar Vadisi.

"I think no movie, information or propaganda can provoke you into a crime if you do not have criminal inclination or sentiment in your heart," he said.
In Baku, one san see many teenagers wearing like the main charcter of the serial, Polat Alemdar. 21-year-old Tural Mammadov says he would like to be as brave and clever as Polat. "He copes with every task. He knows nicely what he wants to do how he can achive his goals."

Another big fan of Kurtlar Vadisi, Ali Alibayli, 24, says he is impressed by the quality of the mvie, by its actors and scenario. He says the movie is
all about the Turkish patriotism. Ali's beloved charcter in Kurtlar Vadisi also is Polat Alemdar.

"He is calm, clever and, most importantly, a patriot," he says. Ali says he also is a patriot, but this is not because of the movie.

"Azerbaijan has and will always have hundreds of sons like Polat Alemdar," he says proudly.

Programming by Ayten Alizadeh. Copyight by IntraNS. All rights reserved.


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