A Turkish man who briefly became an internet celebrity in 1999 has accused British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen of "copying" him using the Borat character.
Mahir Cagri, 44, is travelling to London to seek an apology and some of the profits from Cohen's surprisingly successful film.
Cagri's personal website, which featured photos of him playing the accordion and posing in revealing swimsuits, became an overnight sensation on the internet in 1999 when millions of computer users clicked on the site or another site mirroring it.
Cagri listed his occupation as freelance journalist on the site and has numerous expressions on the site in awkward English, including,"I like to take foto-camera (animals, towns, nice nude models and peoples)."
"The world knows he is copying Mahir," Cagri said of Cohen from his hometown of Izmir on Monday, minutes before he boarded a plane for Istanbul.
"I am not saying this — the world is. I have received so many e-mails from people in the United States who tell me he is imitating me," he said.
Cagri is scheduled to fly to London and meet with lawyers on Tuesday and hold interviews with the British press.
Mahir says he deserves some film profit
"The bombshell is going to fall," he said. "[Cohen] is making money by using me."
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was the No. 1 film at the box office over the weekend, earning $2.4 million in Canada and close to $30 millionCdn across North America.
In it, Cohen plays Borat, a Kazakh journalist who travels across the U.S. searching for his dream wife,Pamela Anderson. The character originally appeared on Cohen's Da Ali G Show.
Cohen has said in the past the character came out of a meeting with a doctor from Southern Russia.
"The moment I met him, I was totally crying," said Cohen. "He was a hysterically funny guy, albeit totally unintentionally."
Cohen has already provoked outrage in Kazakhstan for his portrayal of the country as backward and anti-Semitic.