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Mysterious Benefactor Settles People’s Debts in Poor Turkish Neighborhoods

Poor families in the Turkish city of Istanbul have been visited by a mysterious patron paying off their debts at grocery stores and leaving envelopes of cash on their doorsteps over the past year.

Last week, many poor people in Tuzla, a shipbuilding district on the Asian side of Istanbul ,were happy to find out that their debts at local grocery stores had been paid by an unknown male benefactor who claimed to be doing the selfless deeds “only to earn God’s blessing”. After the crash of the Turkish lira last year, food prices soared, as did the prices of utilities like electricity, and the unemployment rate. The rising cost of living has been hard to keep up with some people, but this mysterious benefactor is doing his best to help the poorest people in Istanbul.

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Robin Hood Mayor Robs Supermarkets and Gives to the Poor

The story of Robin Hood and his merry men is centuries old, but even in this modern age their example is as popular as ever. In the Andalucia region of Spain the roles of outlaws are nowadays played by a village mayor and a group of Socialist extremists, who instead of rich royalty rob local supermarkets and give the loot to the poor.

Andalucia was hit particularly hard by the international economic crisis and the collapse of the construction industry. The whole of Spain is struggling, but in this region the unemployment rate has reached 34% and some people have difficulties even putting food on the table. The dire situation inspired a group of members from the Andalucia Workers Union, led by Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, a member of the regional parliament for the United Left party in Andalucia and mayor of the village of Marinaleda in southern Spain, to stage Robin Hood-style attacks on local supermarkets to get food for the needy. Although authorities see this kind of acts as crimes, Sanchez Gordillo and his modern merry men are heroes to the Spanish poor, who welcome the food products with open arms.

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