Turks trust strangers, and the trust is repaid

I’ve written here about the remarkable honesty of—seemingly everybody—in Turkey. I got another example two days ago when our taksi stopped at our chosen restaurant in Gaziantep. The meter showed TL 7—about $4.00. Our friend Arzu Tutuk handed the driver a TL20 note. “Sorry, no change,” he said (in Turkish). “Here’s my card, just call me when you’ve finished dinner and I’ll take you back to your hotel. We can settle then.”

And so we did. After a sumptuous dinner at Imam Cağdas Arzu called the driver, he picked us up within two minutes, and she settled the bill for the round trip.

What’s remarkable about this story? The cab driver trusted a total stranger to go out of her way to pay him, when she could have stiffed him with impunity. It never occurred to the driver or to Arzu that the trust could be broken.

Hooray—again—for Turkish honesty.

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5 Responses to “Turks trust strangers, and the trust is repaid”

  1. Jack Marshall Says:

    NOW I know where you’ve been!

    Of course, in my family, on my mother’s side—the Greek side—they would no more trust a Turk than a rattlesnake. Some grudges die hard.

  2. Ethics Bob Says:

    Actually Turks and Greeks (in Turkey and Greece, if not in America) have remarkably put the ugly history (on both sides) behind them. As a visitor to both countries my observation is that most Turks are xenophiles while most–or at least, many–Greeks are xenophobes.

  3. Murat Says:

    Hımm, Maybe Greeks now know whom to trust or not trust :-)
    I never understand people can not look forward but behind !

    • Ethics Bob Says:

      We’re all prisoners of some long-ago insult or offense. Some Brits are still angry at Cromwell, many Serbs still are bitter over the 1389 battle of Blackbirds Field. Best to remember the past but not be prisoner to it.

  4. Nobody ever loses a wallet in Turkey. It always gets returned « Ethics Bob Says:

    [...] in order to return my wallet, which he had found in the men’s room at an Istanbul Starbucks. And here, about the Gaziantep cab driver who trusted us to call him for a return trip so we could pay him [...]

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