During interviews, traffic police emphasized that they felt drivers regard them as hostile when making routine traffic stops. “Why me?”, “Why have you stopped me?”, “Prove that I have made a mistake” and “I haven’t made any mistakes” are among the most common reactions from the drivers who they stop, reported police.
According to the officers interviewed, male drivers resort to lying by later alleging that the officer swore at them during a traffic stop, while female drivers, several offices alleged, claim the officer has behaved inappropriately if they think that they are going to be fined.
Several police stated that when fining drivers for traffic violations, common responses are: “But people who kill police are not in the wrong?”, “I had little liking for police, but with this fine I now have no sympathy for you,” and “I will not pay this fine, have I killed anyone?”
Traffic police also noted that people often offer to bribe them and that drivers will offer TL 100 to get out of paying a TL 66 fine. “If we fine drivers who have relatives or friends who are politicians, we get transferred or reassigned without our consent,” reported police officers in response to a question about what bothers them most.
Traffic police and drivers’ comical interactions
One police officer said, “I stopped a drunk driver during Ramadan and he told me, ‘Please do your job quickly, I’m invited to an iftar [fast-breaking meal]’.”
“One driver asked me to choose a place on the map. His intent was to threaten to banish me to the area I chose. I told him that any place was acceptable for me, except İstanbul. In response, the man said, ‘Then stay in İstanbul and suffer’,” stated another officer.
One traffic police officer said a drunk driver begged him so as to avoid paying a fine and when he finally understood he was not going to get out of paying the fine, he began to shout at his wife and children, saying, “I told you we should not have driven on this road, we should have stayed at home.”