Ankara Governor’s Office opens winter hostel for homeless people in Turkish capital
The hostel recently opened to shelter rough sleepers during the cold winter months in the Turkish capital.
Among the most striking lodgers being sheltered at the facility is Serdal Erdek, who can speak five languages fluently and has traveled to 49 countries.
Erdek, who has lectured in Far Eastern philosophy and worked as a hotel manager in a number of different countries, was born into a comfortable family in Ankara but eventually plunged into depression and alcohol addiction.
Erdek said he moved with his mother at a very early age to Germany, where he was introduced to Kung Fu and Chinese philosophy. He then moved to Switzerland, got married, and worked as a hotel manager and university lecturer. However, he subsequently descended into alcohol addiction and depression.
“I didn’t know where to go or where to start. Alcohol started to take up a huge place in my life and led me to postpone finding a solution to all my problems. I lost many friends and was left with only fellow-alcoholics around me,” Erdek said.
Compounding his problems, Erdek recently spent a long time in hospital in Turkey after breaking his leg.
Now staying in the hostel, Erdek said he has a dream of founding an association for the homeless, particularly young people who are struggle in tough situations.
“I want to lend my hand to anyone who needs help, without judging them,” Erdek said.
The new hostel for homeless people will remain available until May 15, with the Ankara Governor’s Office covering all costs for the 100 people staying there.