While these taxi cons may result in a 5 or 10 dollar loss, this next con that occurred to me was subtler and cost me a lot more money. Parking on the street is a nightmare here in Istanbul. Thankfully, my employer has been gracious enough to pay for a monthly parking lot. The cost is 200 YTL/month in the neighborhood of Beşiktaş (I live one block away from the Çirağan Palace). Recently, I returned to the US for my sister’s wedding, but before I left, I filled my tank full of gasoline. Upon my return, one week later, I noticed that as soon as I was pulling out of the parking lot that my empty light came on. The strange thing was that my odometer read only 81km, when I can usually get at least 400km per full tank. Anytime I purchase gasoline, I always restart the odometer to count how many miles (or kilometers) I have traveled. I thought I had filled the tank before I had left on vacation, but who can remember 9 days later? Luckily, I found the receipt that confirmed my suspicions. I had indeed filled the tank the day before my departure. Although I could do nothing to the attendants, I did have my boss call them to let them know that WE KNEW what they had done. Hopefully, that fact will keep them from doing it again. Looking back on it, the only way that they would have been able to use so much gasoline without changing the odometer is to have siphoned it out of the gas tank. Here in Turkey, gasoline is extremely expensive. The minimum octane available is 95 and the current price is 2.96 YTL/liter.
A few weeks prior to the previous incident, I went to pickup my car and it was not there. These same parking attendants were supposedly fixing one of my tires that had gone flat. That assured me that the car would return any moment from the tire repair shop. About half an hour later, the car arrived and they charged me 20 YTL. I still do not know if the fix was legit or not.