It is my sad responsibility to notify all of you of news that was confirmed for me last week. One of our members has passed on. Ilker Ozturk, aka tux on FBTB, died on November 17. He didn't post much on here for the last couple of years, but was more active on the prior version of the boards. He lived in Sisli, a district of Istanbul, Turkey. I first met him when I was selling a few sets on here back in 2007. Later, I was selling a few more sets and he was interested. He asked if I could pick up a couple of other sets and what started out as a deal with a fellow FBTBer became more than that. LEGO isn't cheap, and apparently that's very true in Turkey, because most of it is available from the local toy/comic seller, with the associated markup. For the last couple of years, he'd send me a list of sets and funds via Paypal, and I would pick em up and send them on. Even with shipping, it cost less to do it that way. Because we'd chat on Gmail prior to him sending cash, we talked about anything and everything and thus, became friends.
Ilker had a degree from Bilgi University in Istanbul and was employed as a teaching assistant in the Computer Science department. He had been having difficulties passing an exam that was needed so he could advance in his career, (I don't have any more details than that, other than he was increasingly frustrated due to several attempts without success.) He was very depressed and was losing weight. His friends and family were there for him as much as possible. I knew he was down, but I thought things were looking up, as in recent emails, he seemed more like he was back in 2008, and had been interested in building LEGO again, especially the train sets he told me that were his favorites when he was a kid.
I hadn't received a reply to my last email, which was unlike him, so I tried to find a work email for him. What I found was news that was quite disturbing after I read the translation. The disturbing truth is that Ilker was so depressed that he chose to end his life. One of his co-workers responded to my email query and confirmed the news. His family, friends and work colleagues are quite obviously devastated and asking themselves how they failed to see this coming. In his last email, Ilker told me to take care of myself and my family. A couple of days ago, I received an email from Ilker's younger brother, who said that he misses Ilker terribly. His brother said that the few sets I have to send over will be built and displayed in Ilker's bedroom with the rest of his collection.
Goodbye, my friend. I know your pain is gone, and I hope that where you are now, you've found the peace that you didn't find in this world.
Will Tactically Consult for money, food or LEGO.