Turkish man arrested trying to sail into Plymouth to find woman he loves
A TURKISH sailor who became obsessed with a British woman has been arrested as he headed toward Plymouth in a tiny yacht.
Ramazan Noyan Culum is now being deported after immigration officers intercepted his boat in the English Channel.
The Herald has learned the man had sailed the 16ft vessel from his home country to British waters, in search of a woman he had met in 2005.
The UK Border Force confirmed a 38-year-old sailor was intercepted by its cutter HMC Valiant late on Friday night in seas close to the Devon coast.
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The yacht was towed to Plymouth Yacht Haven at Turnchapel and Culum was arrested and taken to Charles Cross Police Station for questioning.
He is currently in an immigration detention centre awaiting removal from the UK back to Turkey.
His boat – the Ninova – remains at Plymouth Yacht Haven.
Culum has spent much of this year sailing to the UK from Turkey in an effort to track down the woman he claims he met in Cyprus.
The UK Border Agency confirmed a Turkish man was awaiting removal from the UK "after he attempted to enter the UK illegally on his yacht."
A spokesman said the man, who had no visa or valid passport, had no right to enter the UK and would now be removed to his home country.
Odyssey of obsession
THE incredible voyage of love-struck Turkish sailor Ramazan Noyan Culum was documented on his own website.
The obsessive seaman was arrested as he was about to complete an eight-month-long, 2,500-mile journey to hunt down the British woman he met on holiday seven years ago.
The 38-year-old now faces deportation from the UK – just the latest European country to throw him out.
According to the website, Culum explains that he went to Northern Cyprus in 2005 for a scuba diving trip and met the young woman with whom he became infatuated.
He says online that he has been deported from Cyprus nine times, been imprisoned, gone on hunger strike, slept rough and stayed in a mental hospital.
But Culum says on the website that he has thought of nothing but the woman since he met her, adding: "I spent my every second with her in my mind and in my dreams."
The Herald is not naming the woman, who is not from Plymouth or the surrounding area, to protect her identity and avoid further distress.
Culum states he tracked her in early 2011 on Facebook.
Despite her blocking him from her account, he set off in his 16ft yacht Ninova from Bodrum, near the Turkish city of Kos, in March this year.
Since then he claims to have battled storms and disasters as he crossed the Adriatic, the Mediterranean, through the straits of Gibraltar, hugging the coast of Spain and onwards across the English Channel.
En route he had described his aim to marry the woman – despite recognising that she "abhors" him.
At one stage, posting bearded pictures of himself, he claimed he was "ready to die" on his way to reach the UK.
The weblog charts his infatuation with the woman who he blames for causing him to be banned from "more countries than Osama bin Laden."
Addressing her directly in one worrying entry, he rages: "You stupid girl, you didn't understand even why I come to UK.
"I will come there, I will kneel down in front of you, I will kiss your hands and I will propose marrying me.
"You can marry me or you can imprison me. It's your to decide."
In his latest entry, dated yesterday, Culum records how he was detained by the UK Border Agency and was now in an immigration removal office "located at Sussex."
He writes: "After 7 months on the water, after a last month under highly bad conditions, after a lot of works, after a lot of efforts… I did never dream to immigrate, but was trying to gain the heart of the angel of my life.
"But I'm now at an immigration center. I'm not happy of course…"
He ends his blog with a message to the woman in which he writes: "I love you. Excuse me please."
Culum will be deported after being caught in waters off Plymouth trying to enter the country.
UK Border Agency staff located his yacht in a dramatic capture that saw the Ninova towed into Turnchapel.
Peter Jones, of the UK Border Agency in the South West, said in a statement that a 38-year-old Turkish national had been detained.
He said: "Our cutters help secure the UK border from any criminal sea-borne threat by detecting and preventing banned and restricted goods and also people attempting to evade our border controls.
"This man was attempting to enter the UK without a visa or valid passport but was stopped and will now be removed to his home country.
"Our officers are working hard at the border in Devon and elsewhere to prevent illegal immigration and smuggling."