Parking touts who demand parking fees illegally from drivers have become a major nuisance for Istanbul motorists as they occupy more and more of the city’s already limited parking spots.
Called “değnekçi” by the locals, the touts often demand money from those parking their cars under the guise of looking after it, but will quickly threaten to harm the car if their demands are turned down. The smarter ones, on the other hand, will don yellow vests, similar to those worn by city’s official parking attendants employed by the municipality.
They usually start coming on the streets after the official attendants leave by 6 p.m., others will try to find isolated streets to capitalize on, trying to scam drivers. While most drivers will pay some small amount to keep away from trouble, sometimes the scams end in fights.
Last week, a citizen who wanted to park his car on the street in the upscale Bebek neighborhood was stabbed after he refused to pay. Two suspects were detained in relation to the case. Another video that went viral on Monday showed a scammer acting like a parking attendant and demanding TL 10 from a driver.
Police along with municipality teams have launched an investigation into identifying the potential suspects.