Robin Hood of Istanbul shows his face again
ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
A generous person who likes to randomly dispense money to locals in Istanbul’s poor neighborhoods made his fourth appearance in a residential area of Roma people.
Dubbed “Hızır”- a guardian angel who shows up unexpectedly at a time when it is especially needed - the mysterious person is said to use the nickname “Robin Hood,” according to locals in the Yenisahra neighborhood of the Ataşehir district in Istanbul’s Anatolian side.
“I was sitting in front of my house. Two people came up and said hello. ‘Do you live here?’ they asked me. When I said, ‘Yes,’ they gave me an envelope. He introduced himself as ‘Robin Hood.’ Maybe he has been watching us at close range,” said Selçuk Coşkun, a local in the neighborhood which is home to mostly Roma people.
The man, whose identity remains a mystery, in his first appearance, distributed envelopes including 1,000 Turkish Liras (around $168) to residents of Hasköy, a quarter on the northern bank of the Golden Horn in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district in March.
In the following months, he did the same thing in two other economically-deprived neighborhoods, Şahintepesi on the European side and Mimar Sinan - Şifa on the Anatolian side.
“I had watched him on TV. I wished that he would come to Barbaros – Yenisahra neighborhood. My prayer came true. My brother called me, saying, ‘There’s a guy disbursing aid.’ May Allah reward him,” said Oktay Korkunç.
Hızır, or Robin Hood, usually moves with around 10 of his men, who call him “boss,” according to witnesses.
“I was inside my shop. I heard about it when I came here. Kids had gathered; each of them was holding banknotes. They were given 100 - 300 Turkish Liras,” said local shopkeeper Aslan Kutluay.
“So glad there are people like this one still. As long as we have people like this, the Republic of Turkey will not fall flat on her face,” he added.
“They gave me an envelope. There were 1,000 liras inside it. I was very happy. May Allah make him happy, too,” said 60-year-old local woman Zehra Kutluay.
“I have been living in this neighborhood for 35 years. Many indebted people ran away. A fellow citizen came up, discharging debts with money in envelopes. Then, he went to the shanty houses and distributed envelopes there. He disbursed money to the kids, too. Everybody was very happy on that day. They came with 10-15 vehicles. A car was full of money,” said Hakim Beyter, who is running a grocery store in Yenisahra.