In 1970, Billy Hayes, a 23-year-old New York student, was caught attempting to smuggle hashish out of Turkey. He was sentenced to just over four years in prison and was eventually transferred to Imrali Island in the Bosphorus Strait. When his sentence was weeks from ending, Hayes received an extended sentence of 30 years. Refusing to spend the rest of his life in prison, Hayes, who was given a job on the docks, escaped in a rowboat in 1975. He made his way to Istanbul and, when he could not secure a hideout, dyed his hair and made his way to Greece, where he was eventually deported to the U.S. In 1977, Hayes wrote the book Midnight Express about his ordeal. When it was made into a film by Oliver Stone (screenplay) and Alan Parker (director), the story was altered, including what Hayes says are scenes of violence and rape that never occurred. In a 2007 interview, Hayes said, "My problem with the movie is there are no good Turks in it." The film went on to win two Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay.
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