Turkish man arrested after sailing for eight months to find British 'holiday sweetheart'


Turkish man arrested after sailing for eight months to find British 'holiday romance'Mr Culum was detained as he sailed towards Plymouth: Stock photo, Rex


A Turkish man has been detained after sailing 2,500 miles over eight months from Turkey to Britain - to find a holidaymaker he met in a restaurant in Cyprus in 2005.

Ramazan Noyan Culum, 38, met Courtney Murray just once, when she served him at the restaurant where she worked as a waitress. He fell for her immediately, and stole her number from the restaurant wall.

He continued to be infatuated with Ms Murray, although she refused his requests for a date, and returned to Britain, where she later married.

Mr Culum tracked her down on Facebook last year, and then spent three months preparing for his trip, setting out on 23 April from the Turkish port of Bodrum on his yacht, Ninova.

He set up a blog about his sea odyssey, and wrote: "Courtney I come. Pray for me".

According to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Culum battled storms as he crossed the Adriatic, the Mediterranean, and passed through the straits of Messina and Gibraltar and along the Spanish coast, before sailing up the Portuguese and French coastlines.

He eventually sailed into the Channel, where he was picked up by Customs officials after his mammoth adventure, which he kept blogging about at various stages.

At one point, he said he was "ready to die" for Ms Murray, and wrote: "I spent my every second with her in my mind and in my dreams.

"I love you too much. The world is not beautiful without you. I don't want to continue to live without you. Will you marry me?"

However, the love story does not have a fairytale ending, with Ms Murray's family and friends warning Mr Culum away from Courtney on his blog.

According to the Mirror, Courtney's aunt Flo warned: "She has never and never will have a relationship with you.

"If you ever make it to the UK and make contact with Courtney the police will be informed immediately.

"She is happily married. All you are doing is making a fool of yourself and upsetting Courtney and her family."

Ramazan's whose 16ft yacht was intercepted by the crew of HMC Valiant as he sailed towards Plymouth on Friday night, and he now is being held at a detention centre in Sussex.

Peter Jones, of the UK Border Agency, said in a statement: "This man was attempting to enter the UK without a visa or a valid passport but was stopped and will now be removed to his home country."

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