Istanbul, Turkey – Richard Kopf, an American tourist staying in Istanbul for the weekend, was spotted at the Sultanahmmet Square on Saturday distraught and on the verge of tears after locals failed to live up to his expectations and accomodate him every step of the way.
“It’s been a really tough trip, it really has,” Mr. Kopf told reporters as he shooed away a Turkish man asking him where he was from. “See that? Ninth man who has asked me that question today, just so they can loop me into a conversation and then sell me something I don’t want.” Mr. Kopf found out that Turkish men weren’t genuinely curious about where he was from after the first man took Mr. Kopf to his carpet shop and “held me hostage until I bought one of his ten thousand dollar rugs. Now I’ve got a rug back at my hotel, and I’m not even sure how I can take it back home.”
At six-foot two, blue-eyed, and sporting short, disheveled blond hair, Mr. Kopf claims that he has been sitting on the white benches of the square for the past hour trying to enjoy the scenery; however, Mr. Kopf alleges that the Turks have made this difficult because they do not treat him like one of their own.
“Everywhere I go, they’re always assuming that I’m not from here, or that I’m American, or just a tourist in general. And so they start selling me one thing or another – nuts, rugs, porcelain, spices, whatever,” a resigned Mr. Kopf told reporters. “What if I’m not a tourist? What if I’m just another Turkish guy sitting in this random square and enjoying my Saturday, and they’re assuming that I’m not? That’d be an awfully rude thing to do back in the States, I can tell you that.”
Mr. Kopf, who works at a talent agency in Santa Monica, had decided to travel out to Istanbul for the weekend after seeing photos of the city on Instagram and how cheap flights to Istanbul were.
“At first, I was blown away by how beautiful the pictures on Instagram were – I was like, ‘Wow, this place looks just like Disney World!’ And then, out of curiosity, I checked how much a round trip ticket to Turkey for a weekend would cost, which really blew me away. Honestly, I just couldn’t pass up on a deal like that, and if I may say so myself, I’m kind of known within my company as The Guy when it comes to the best deals.”
However, ever since he arrived, Mr. Kopf’s has felt that the locals have made him feel unwelcome.
“I don’t feel at home. At the Grand Bazaar, for example, I tried haggling a keychain from four Turkish liras down to two Turkish liras, and the guy running the shop has the galls to ask me if I’m doing this for fun. Haggling, you know, it’s a part of Turkish culture. Everyone does it – why do I have to get called out for it? Is it because I ‘look’ American?
“And, yeah, I was doing it for fun. So what?”
When asked whether or not Mr. Kopf would consider coming back to Istanbul, he responded that this would most likely be his first and last time.
“Especially this time of the year, I really miss the Christmas decorations. Back in the States, we have Christmas trees and houses lit up with decorations and … you know, we properly celebrate the winter holidays.
“I guess it just goes to show that America is really the best country in the world.”
In other news, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested to a raucous crowd at a rally in Kentucky last night that the United States should set up neighborhoods for registered non-Christians to live in.