Turkish Hotel Owner Charged Over Stick-Beating in Sihanoukville

A Turkish guesthouse owner with a history of violence was back in prison on Friday after allegedly chasing and beating another Turkish man with a bamboo stick in Sihanoukville, police said.

Mehmet Tekoglu, 42, chased the 38-year-old man, identified only as Ozturk, on his motorbike, and beat the victim with a half-meter bamboo stick when he fell to the ground, Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Chuon Narin said in a post on his Facebook page on Thursday.

Turkish national Mehmet Tekoglu after being arrested in Sihanoukville last week, in a photograph posted to Facebook by Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Chuon Narin

Mr. Tekoglu said in 2015 that a rival Turkish businessman—Bora Ozturk—had targeted him in a failed drive-by shooting.

Sut Som On, provincial bureau chief in charge of minor crimes, said on Friday that the incident occurred at 2 p.m. on Thursday in Sihanoukville’s Buon commune following a business dispute. He said the victim was also driving a motorbike with his wife riding as a passenger.

The suspect is the owner of the 20-room MK City Hotel, near the Sihanoukville bus terminal, Mr. Som On said.

Sam Sophal, head of the provincial prison, said on Sunday that Mr. Tekoglu was charged with intentional violence, which carries a prison sentence of three years, and placed in detention.

Mr. Tekoglu was jailed in March 2015, serving several months behind bars after being charged with intentional violence for stabbing an Israeli man. Police said at the time that the stabbing was an act of retaliation by Mr. Tekoglu, who had survived a drive-by shooting in which a Cambodian bystander was shot in the leg.

Shortly after his release later that year, Mr. Tekoglu visited The Cambodia Daily’s office in Phnom Penh and claimed the drive-by was the result of an ongoing dispute with rival Turkish businessmen, including Mr. Ozturk, who he said had colluded with police to frame him in the stabbing.

In January last year, he was released without charge after using a meat cleaver to defend himself against a sword-wielding former employee seeking revenge for being fired. Mr. Tekoglu threatened legal action against The Cambodia Daily if his name was included in an article about the incident.

In Thursday’s Facebook post by Brigadier General Narin, the police chief, Mr. Tekoglu is described as a violent reoffender.

“After having been released from prison, the suspect…continuously caused trouble by using violence toward foreigners.”

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