In 2013 a court told Mustafa Karasahin to limit his unrelenting letter writing to Dordrecht city hall to 10 letters a month, which he didn’t do. After fining and even detaining him twice, the message ironically didn’t get through and now he’s finally being thrown in jail for two years with eight months probation for writing harassing letters.
Karasahin got into it with the city for illegally renting out rooms and was marked as a slum lord, not winning him any sympathy once he finally went bankrupt. And since he’s broke, he won’t have to pay any compensation for damages. According to the court, his flow of letters between 2013 and 2015 cost the city a whopping 1.24 million euro, not counting another estimated 250,000 to 300,000 euro for 2016.
Enjoy your new small room, dude, and don’t write.
Tags: Dordrecht, jail, letter writing, politics
Despite a court order to minimise his letter writing, Mustafa Karasahin of Dordrecht, aka the serial letter writer, has started ‘harassing’ city hall again with a barrage of letters. The city of Dordrecht has to make its position clearer and has placed Karasahin in a detention centre. Fining the man hasn’t worked, so detaining him was the next step.
Dealing with his letters has cost the city of Dordrecht nearly half a million euro. Back in 2013, the court had limited him to 10 letters a month (although the source below says two). Either way, 16 letters as of late was over the limit.
According to the city and experts, the law governing access to information requests needs to be modified to address this kind of abuse and doing so is taking a long time. In the mean time, the serial writer has given no signs of letting up once he’s free again. Karasahin owns some 40 buildings and rents room illegally to migrant workers. He is considered a slum lord.
Tags: Dordrecht, letter writing, letters, politics, slum lord
The Historical Museum of The Hague is currently holding an exhibition entitled ‘Courtly Rivals: Elizabeth Stuart and Amalia van Solms’ that features locked letters of the 17th century. The letters have been brought to life thanks to some videos made by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MIT Libraries’ conservator, Jana Dambrogio and others helped film six videos on the science of 17th century letterlocking.
‘Courtly Rivals’ is based on Dutch professor Nadine Akkerman’s publication by the same name, exploring the tense relationship between two of the most influential women in the Dutch Republic during the 17th century – Elizabeth Stuart, sometime Queen of Bohemia and her former lady-in-waiting Amalia von Solms, who became Princess of Orange in 1625. Elizabeth’s corpus of over 2,000 letters shows she was an astute politician, with a vast network of kings, queens, generals, ministers, church leaders, courtiers, and spies. Amalia’s correspondence has just come to light, but it appears she was no different. Both ladies, their secretaries, and their correspondents resorted to intricate methods to lock their letters shut.
(Links: www.haagshistorischmuseum.nl, libraries.mit.edu)
Tags: 17th century, letter writing, museum, The Hague
Mustafa Karasahin of Dordrecht was told by the court last week that he had to limit the amount of letters he sends to the city of Dordrecht to ten a month for the next two years.
Called a slumlord by Binnenlands Bestuur (huisjesmelker, literally ‘house milker’), Karasahin apparently sent the city of Dordrecht 2,247 letters over the past years. The city estimated that it would have to spend 400,000 euro a year to reply to Karashin’s letters, complaints and freedom of information requests if he kept at it. It had to employ four civil servants just to deal with Karasahin’s past missives, according to Radio Rijnmond.
The judge ruled in favour of the city because Karashin indicated his letter writing campaign was intended as a form of harassment.
Deputy Mayor Piet Sleeking of Dordrecht sees the court’s decision as a good starting point for further reducing civil liberties. Maybe parliament should get involved, he feels, and think about “when using a right becomes abusing a right”.
Karasahin owns 40 buildings which he apparently lets to migrant workers. He has started letting others write his letters for him.
Tags: Dordrecht, letter writing, letters, migrant workers, politics, slumlords