Mahir to Borat: I don't kiss you!!!!!

While everyone's favorite journalist Borat is out advancing various cultural learnings of America for make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan, late '90s Internet celebrity Mahir Cagri apparently thinks comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is exploiting Cagri's real-life persona to make benefit glorious box office hit.

Mahir at CNET
Credit: CNET Networks
Mahir Cagri visits CNET in 2002.

Remember Cagri? Right around the time the world was getting hip to the viral reach of the Web, the English-impaired, moustachioed Turk put up an earnest site inviting women the world over to visit him (Welcome to my home page !!!!!!!!! I kiss you!!!!!) and fast found himself an international Net celebrity and the subject of endless parody.

"All people know Sacha Baron Cohen imitate only me," Cagri recently told Wired magazine via e-mail. "He is stealing my character and giving bad message to USA people."

And Cagri--who made it onto a 2005 CNET list of top 10 Web fads--is none too happy about all this. "He never contacted me or got my permission," he writes. "If possible you can help me too for stop this or find good lawyer?"

Wired has a Q & A up with Cagri in which the accordian-playing, Speedo-wearing celeb catches fans up on his life. Possibly in the works: a Cagri biopic. "I'm trying to find USA publisher," he says, "and I hope I can receive good offer from Hollywood and play my own life and share with my fans, Julia Roberts, Spielberg, David Bowie, or others, this movie."

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About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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