Mystery Benefactor Settles Debts of Istanbul’s Poor

The poor families of Istanbul, Turkey, have something to celebrate: a mysterious patron has been visiting them and leaving them envelopes of money at their doorsteps as well as paying off their debts at stores over the past year. 

Mystery Benefactor Pay Off Debts of Poor Families of Istanbul

Many people in Turkey have been feeling of the recent economic crisis after the Turkish lira crashed just last year. As a result of the crash, the prices of food escalated as well as the prices of utilities such as electricity and water. Unemployment rate in the country has also been greatly affected. As such, the people of Istanbul have been having a hard time trying to keep up with the escalating cost of living. And a lot of them would have continued to do so, were it not for a person they call their mysterious benefactor. 

Just last week, many poor people living in the shipbuilding district of Tuzla in the Asian section of Istanbul got the greatest but probably most pleasant shock of their lives when they discovered that their debts had all been paid off at their local grocery stores. It turned out that somebody had been going round all the stores in the area and paying off the outstanding debts of his countrymen. The only detail known about the benefactor was that he was a male; other than that, he refused to be identified, claiming that he was only doing such good deeds for the reason that he wanted “only to earn God’s blessing.”

The media was able to interview the owner of a Tuzla grocery store, who wished to remain anonymous but who said about the benefactor, “Someone came and asked me to show him the notebook where I record customers’ debts. There were four people with large amounts outstanding and I told him where they lived. He came back again after talking to them and paid all the debts. I also learned he gave extra cash to those families. I asked him his name and he told me, ‘Just call me Robin Hood.’”

Tuncay Yasar, another grocer but who was okay with being identified, also said about the man, “He told me he was there to pay the debts of those who cannot afford it. I have been here for 30 years and it was the first time I came across such a deed. My customers were very happy and wanted to see him but I don’t know who he is. He did not give his name and said he was doing this ‘only to earn God’s blessing.’”

The mysterious male benefactor in Tuzla, Istanbul, Turkey, is believed to have been the “culprit” of several anonymous donations made earlier this year. In March 2019, back when the prices of food had hit the peak, a person allegedly slipped envelopes under the door of several poor families in many working-class communities in Istanbul. The envelopes were said to contain about 1,000 lira each, or $175 dollars. And again, in June, he paid off grocery store debts amounting to 25,000 lira each, or $4,360, as an Eid gift.

No matter how cynical or troubled our world has become, it turns out there are still some real-life Good Samaritans out there.