Mahir Çağrı Invitates You Turkey--"I Kiss You!" Internet Meme is Born
Mahir Çağrı (born 1962) became an Internet celebrity in 1999.
His picture-laden personal homepage, which exclaimed in broken English his love of the accordion, travel, and women was visited by millions and spawned numerous fansites and parodies, one featured on Fox's MadTV (season 5, episode 20). He was also repeatedly parodied in 1999 episodes of the Late Show with David Letterman wearing red Speedos and playing Ping Pong. Mahir was ranked #2 in CNET's Top 10 Web fads (July 15, 2005). The site was also included in PC World's "The 25 Worst Web Sites" list (September 15, 2006). Mahir claimed in various interviews that his personal webpage was hacked, with additions such as "I like sex" embedded into his webpage. The site was originally hosted on the now defunct XOOM web hosting service which advertised Mahir on their front page during the mania.
Mahir Çağrı's website was quickly spread through word of mouth on the internet. The website came at a time when "Internet phenomenon" was a new concept for Internet users, media, and the curious public. Novelty pages such as Dancing baby and The Hamster Dance created a precedent of mass viewing for Mahir's page.