The 17-year-old Marco, vacationing with his parents at a hotel on the Turkish Mediterranean coast near Antalya, spends the last night of his holiday partying with some German and English friends he had made. At one point during the evening he and an English girl named Carolina wind up in her room where the situation quickly becomes intimate.
Before his departure the next morning, Marco wonders why he is being summoned to the reception desk and is shocked to hear that a complaint of sexual assault has been filed against him: Carolina is only 13 and still a minor!
Overwhelmed by panic and disbelief, Marco is taken into custody by the police and is forced to spend the night in jail. The next day, the terrified youth declares his innocence, stating that he and Carolina had been intimate with one another by mutual consent. As well, she had told him that she was 15.
The medical report supports Marco’s version – Carolina is still a virgin. But his interpreter incorrectly translates his statement and the Turkish judge, now believing that intercourse had taken place, swiftly sends Marco back to jail to await further proceedings.
Horrified, Marco is imprisoned in a 35 m² cell along with 30 other adult foreign inmates and forced to endure conditions that are both filthy and inhumane. The situation worsens.
Because the written testimony of Carolina, who has since returned to England, seems to have disappeared, Marco’s court hearing is continually delayed. Marco has no choice but to accept his frustrating situation.
The story of Marco’s fate is swiftly picked up and spreads like wildfire through the national and international media. The now-global attention on the case even creates friction between the German and Turkish governments.
But in the meantime, Marco has spent over 6 months in the Turkish prison waiting for his day in court. He writes an open letter to Carolina and his friend Ralf posts a video petition on the Internet. Finally, after spending 247 dreadful days in prison, Marco is released and is free to travel home just before Christmas.