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Ufuk Hattı | April 21, 2024

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Interest Trap


This video is prepared to show the calamity of interest in Debt Based Monetary System (DBMS).

The full text is below.





The “Five Star” was caught in an unexpected storm in the ocean. The storm grew stronger, the waves grew taller, and in the end, the sea swallowed the huge ship.

Only five people survived. They arrived at an island in a small boat, exhausted and with only a few belongings.




After recuperating, their first task was to head out to discover the island, which had no traces of civilization.

To their surprise, the island was abundant and inhabitable which was a great relief to all of them. It was full of natural resources and riches.


They worked together constructing roads, creating gardens and gradually settling down.

Everyone worked, produced and as a result, consumed the production. They started trading and had to regulate it among themselves via bartering.



However, there were many aspects to bartering, which proved to be difficult. In some situations, it got tricky.

They knew how to produce wealth, but the issues of how to produce money, which is a symbol of wealth, and how to manage the system, was beyond their scope.

When they came together, they would talk about how great it would be to have someone among them who knew the money system, a banker maybe.



One day, while on the coast, they saw a small boat sailing towards them. There was a man in the boat by the name of Zalimon. He was exhausted and thirsty.

Zalimon’s ship had sunk, and he was the only person to survive. With him, he had a locked chest. He claimed it to be full with his private belongings.

The inhabitants of the island told him their story and shared their problems.

Zalimon was assuring:

-“I’m a financer, I used to manage a bank in my country. You are lucky. In this chest, which has all my personal belongings, is also, some gold, paper and pencils.”

Adding that there were enough riches in his chest to establish a monetary system.



They all came together and built Zalimon a place of work, which he could operate out of. They had a meeting with Zalimon and calculated that they would need close to a 1000 Liras to conduct trade on the island. Without losing any time, Zalimon prepared 200 Liras per person.




Zalimon gathered everyone and gave a small speech:

-          “Friends, this money I have prepared represents the gold. Since I own the gold, the money belongs to me. However, as we have already calculated, I will loan you 200 Lira each. You can use this money as you wish. In return for its usage, you will give me 7% yearly interest as the rental rate of the money.”






The economy on the island livened up with the introduction of money, but it didn’t last long. As the year-end drew near, people were unhappy! One of the young inhabitants, Sadullah, was one of them. His investments hadn’t gone well. At the end of the year, he was scheduled to give back the 200 liras, adding to it 14 Liras of interest. Unfortunately, he didn’t have that much money.

He felt there was something wrong with this monetary system. He thought about his own finances, and the finances of others, and then thought about the system as a whole. When he looked at all the figures, he noticed something really interesting. In excitement, he exclaimed: “Of course, this is it!” The monetary system, which, they had adopted, had been based on incorrect calculations. He wrote down each amount one by one. The picture was clear to him.

INDIVIDUALS The money given by Zalimon The Interest to be Paid (%7) The Amount Demanded Back
200 14 214
Abdullah 200 14 214
Murat 200 14 214
Cemil 200 14 214
Sadullah 200 14 214
Grand Total 1000 70 1070

1070 – 1000 = 70 ???!


Zalimon had given everyone 200 Liras, and demanded 7% interest in return, Sadullah had not been able to put 214 Liras together, although a few people had been able to save the money they made from trade, and they had enough to pay back Zalimon.

The real problem was this: Zalimon had given a total of 1000 Liras, but demanded 1070 Liras in return. If all the inhabitants of the island were to hand back all the money they owned, it would add up to 1000 Liras. Regardless, the total amount would be 70 Liras short. The total amount of money on the island, 1000 Liras, could not transform into 1070 Liras on its own.

All the inhabitants came together and immediately went to Zalimon to explain the situation. His reply was short and convincing:

- “My friends, I see that you mention a calculation error and say, “it’s impossible for us to give back 214 Liras. But I don’t want the principal amount from you! Pay me the interest which is 14 Liras per person, and that will be sufficient. Given the current circumstances, I think everyone can pay this amount easily!”




Zalimon steadily received his interest payments. With the passing of each day, money was taken out of the market to pay the interest.

Everything became expensive, and life was intolerable.

The people of the island came together once again, and decided to discuss this issue with Zalimon once more.



Zalimon told them that the solution was with the system:

“Don’t worry, the gold I have is enough to print more money. Since there is no money, and you say that you’re left cashless and that you’ll end up depleting your money by constantly paying your debt and interest, then let me prepare and give you 200 liras each, once again.”

This angered everyone more because it meant more debt. But Zalimon had an answer to this:

-“Of course, as the years pass, your debt will increase, but at the same time, as a result of your hard work, your income will also increase. You will manage your debt with your income.”




Zalimon observed the actions, debates and behaviors of the inhabitants to learn their opinions.

Without losing any time, he published two newspapers, one named “Liberal” and the other named “Conservative”.

In time, the inhabitants of the island began purchasing and contributing to the newspaper which represented their views. By doing so, they reinforced their cultural development, and also became knowledgeable about how to solve the problems they were facing! Every now and then, they also criticized each other’s opinions in their newspaper.



Sadullah had been following this monetary system since it was first established, trying to understand what the deal was. He was constantly preoccupied with this problem, even in his dreams. .

“This was not the outcome we expected. We were in search of a standardized measurement for our efforts, which would eliminate the difficulties we experienced when we were bartering the items and services we produced, and we ended up in a more difficult state. All that was needed was for the money in the system to represent the services and items produced, that’s all. But now, the money represents the gold belonging to Zalimon.”

“Measurement?! Possessions?! Money?! Yes, yes, that’s it. That’s where the mistake is!”

-          “Money is a measurement of the wealth owned and a vehicle of change. Money is a symbol, not a possession.”


-          “Interest. This is what turns the money in the system into a possession. This is because interest disrupts the principal function of money in the system, which is to be a standard of measurement and exchange. Interest disrupts the balance. In return for increasing the amount of money in the system, buying power is reduced.”


Sadullah, immediately gathered the people of the Island and passionately explained the truth about the current system of tyranny based on debt, which they were a part of;

-“In the beginning everyone was loaned 200 Liras, or in other words, debt. The money entered the system in the form of a loan. Now, let’s think about the exchange of wealth we do among us, or in other words, our trade. No matter how much we trade, at each step, the total amount of money on the island will not change: 1000 Liras.

However, if we pay the interest back, even though our possessions and services haven’t decreased, the amount of money circulating in the system shrinks. As a result of the decreased amount of money, we borrow new money, or in other words, take out a loan. And this cycle continues. The amount of money we owe ends up being many times more than the increase in our wealth.”

As soon as interest enters the system, the amount of money we owe increases, regardless of whether or not the amount of wealth or services do! We should increase the amount of money according to the increase in societal wealth so that possessions and services can circulate within society. So that money doesn’t become a possession controlled by only a few people.


They realized that Zalimon’s system introduced a method of slavery, so to say, at the Island of Abundance. They also came to understand that Zalimon’s newspapers misguided them so that they wouldn’t realize what was going on.

Hence, the inhabitants of the Island realized this deceit, went to Zalimon and said:

- “We don’t want the system you have established which is based on debt. We will hold onto enough money in the market which will allow the transference of possessions and services, without interest,.

- You can continue the process of registering transactions within this new monetary system, which is without interest. In return for your work, we will give you a certain wage. As a result, with these transactions, you will have contributed to society in an important way.


Sadullah, who unveiled this whole scam, asked Zalimon to open the chest, which was supposed to be full of his possessions and gold. When the chest was opened they all saw that there was no gold in the chest. It was filled with pebbles. Seeing this Sadullah said: “Just as I had thought, there was no need for any gold to set up this trap. All Zalimon needed to do was to convince us.”

Shortly after this incident the inhabitants of the Island of Abundance were able to catch the attention of a ship passing by, and were rescued. But their true form of rescue was, undoubtedly, the lifetime lesson they learned: The true nature of interest and how much of a calamity it is for people.







(The text below to be shown as a picture without it being read out loud)

This piece has been prepared using Dr. Mete Gündoğan’s “Interest Trap” as a basis. It has no commercial purpose. It can be copied, duplicated and distributed as long as the meaning and topic integrity is not lost and as long as it’s done without any commercial purposes.

Allah (God) has banned riba –also popularly referred to as interest- in the Noble Quran. Riba is banned in Christianity and Judaism as well. Allah (God) gives us believers a clear message in the 279th verse of Surat al-Baqarah: “…And if you do not (give up interest), then be informed of a war from Allah and his messenger…” With this piece of work, we declare that we are on the side of Allah and his messenger in this war. We call upon all believers of the world, as well as people wanting justice, whether they be Muslims, Christians or Jews, to show which side they’re on by distributing this piece. We call upon them to rebel against the Debt Based Monetary System (DBMS). Striving is our duty, Guidance and Success comes from Allah (God).


We express our gratitude and sincere thanks to Social Economical and Technological Studies Centre (SETAM) for its contribution.


Professor Dr. Mete Gündoğan

Mete Gündoğan was born in 1963 Balikesir, Turkey. He completed his bachelors at Dokuz Eylül University (1985) and began working on his masters’ degree at Middle Eastern Technical University. He received a scholarship from the British Council during the thesis stage of his studies and travelled to England. He completed his masters (1990) in the field of Production Systems Engineering at the Cranfield Institute of Technology. He also completed his Ph.D. (1995) at the same University, in the field of Industrial and Production Systems Engineering. He obtained his Associate Professorship in 2000. He worked at Balikesir University, Hacettepe University, Police Academy and International Sarajevo University.

Aside from his academic undertakings, Dr. Gündoğan also worked at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), the Government Planning Agency (DPT), and as a consultant for the Turkish Grand National Assembly and the Office of the Prime Minister. In line with his research, he worked at the Akinci F-16 Airplane Factory (TAI) and on a project with the European Ford Motor Factories (Cologne-Germany, Genk-Belgium, Valencia-Spain, Bordeaux. France and Dagenham-England.) He also worked in the private sector in top-level management and as a consultant.

The academic fields of interest of Dr. Gündoğan, who has many national and international publications, are: Systems Analysis and Design, Production Management Systems, Production Planning and Control, Technology Management, Quality Assurance, Total Quality Management, Maintenance/Repair Planning and Management, Engineering Economy, Cost Analyses and Accounting, and Micro and Macro Economy.