Nobody ever loses a wallet in Turkey. It always gets returned


I’ve visited Turkey eleven times, and always return in awe of the honesty of Turks. I’ve written here about the lengths Enver Beyazyuz went to 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 after he had been unable to change the TL 20 bill (about $12) I had offered.

On my latest visit my daughter, Susan Le, was lingering over breakfast coffee when Johann, a fellow guest at our hotel in Cappadocia (the Esbelli Ev—visit Cappadocia and stay there if you can!) sadly recounted how he had lost his wallet, stuffed with IDs and credit cards, at the huge Goreme Open Air Museum (photo).

“No problem,” Sue replied cheerfully. “Nobody ever loses a wallet in Turkey. It always gets returned. Tell Atıl (our guide, Atıl Cuce of Middle Earth Travel, hire him when you visit Cappadocia), he’ll know what to do.”

Two minutes later Atılhung up the phone. “They have your wallet.”

My friend Arzu Tutuk (best guide in Istanbul, hire her when you go there) says if you lose your mobile phone in Turkey the finder will first refill with additional minutes, then track you down and return it. I wouldn’t be surprised.



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5 Responses to “Nobody ever loses a wallet in Turkey. It always gets returned”

  1. Jeremy Seal Says:

    Bob, Atil forwarded your comments about my book; glad you enjoyed it. And aint it a joy to rhapsodise so comprehensively about a place?

    Best wishes

    Jeremy Seal

  2. Should you beware of your tour guide? Even in Turkey? « Ethics Bob Says:

    […] think Turks are more honest than most, and I’ve written several times about how hard it is to lose a wallet in Turkey because some Turk will always pick it […]

  3. Anara Says:

    I lost my wallet in Istanbul 5 days ago. But I didn’t find it. And no one called. Still so upset, there were very special things (gifts from parents). So I wouldn’t be that sure that nobody ever loses a wallet in Istanbul:-(

    • Ethics Bob Says:

      I’m sorry to hear that. Do you think it’s possible that the finder turned it in, as the ones I wrote about were turned in to local managers at Starbucks and Goreme?

      • Anara Says:

        I don’t think so:-(. It’s almost 3 weeks as we lost it, and no one has called yet. And we also went to the police station, but still no results.

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