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William "Billy" Hayes (born April 3, 1947) is an American writer, actor, convicted drug smuggler and film director. He is best known for his autobiographical book Midnight Express, about his experiences in and escape from a Turkish prison after being convicted of smuggling hashish. He was one of hundreds of U.S. citizens in foreign jails serving drug charge sentences following a drug smuggling crackdown by foreign governments.


Hayes, an American student, was caught trying to smuggle four pounds of hashish out of Turkey on October 7, 1970. He was originally sentenced to four years and two months in a Turkish prison; with his release date weeks away, he learned that the authorities had chosen to penalize him with a life sentence.
Hayes was imprisoned at SaA?malcA?lar Prison in Turkey. Following an incident in prison, he was transferred in 1972 to Bakirkoy Mental Hospital, described as a "lunatic asylum." The United States Department of State on several occasions pressured Turkey to transfer sentencing to the United States, however Turkish foreign minister Melih Esenbel stated that the United States was not in a position to exercise a sentence handed down by Turkish courts. Esenbel stated privately to officials that a release might be possible on humanitarian grounds if Hayes' physical or mental health was deteriorating, but in a private consultation, Hayes stated to U.S. diplomats that his experience at Bakirkoy Mental Hospital in 1972 was highly traumatic and he did not have confidence that the hospital would certify him for early release; Hayes also stated that he felt attempts to win early release would jeopardize his prospects of being transferred to a more desirable half-open prison. On May 12, 1975, the Turkish Constitutional Court declared amnesty for all narcotics offenses which shortened Hayes sentence from life to 25 years. He was transferred to A?mralA? Prison on July 11, 1975.
Declassified State Department telegrams indicated that in discu

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Billy Hayes Latest News

Kyler Murray Says 'It's Surreal' to Be Drafted by A's; Billy Beane Praises OU QB

"This is one of the most dynamic athletes we've signed since we've got here," said general manager Billy Beane, who's held the position ... per Bleacher Report's Matt Hayes. Meanwhile, his pure speed could make him an impact player on the baseball field ...
Posted: June 16, 2018, 5:38 am

USC Gynecologist’s House Raided, Owen Patterson & Owen Representing New Clients

LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes said sex-crimes detectives talked to George Tyndall and seized evidence during the search but did not provide further details. The search comes on the heels of police reports being filed by nearly 135 women. More than 400 women ...
Posted: June 15, 2018, 6:24 pm

Travel: A visit to where Billy the Kid became a legend

“The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid,” that cemented Billy’s name in western lore. The town of Lincoln remains little changed from the 1870s and 1880s when President Rutherford B. Hayes said it possessed “the deadliest street in America.
Posted: June 9, 2018, 9:06 pm
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