How We Present
The forgotten stones that still inspire Turks to help their neighbors
by Jennifer Hattam
Atlas Obscura Translate This Article
24 August 2020
On 24 August 2020 Atlas Obscura reported:
When Turkey suspended mass prayers in mid-March to try to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, shoe racks at the entrance to Dedeman Mosque in northern Istanbul stood empty. And as businesses around the city shut their doors, the mosque's young imam, Abdulsamet Cakir, knew that the pockets of some members of his community might soon be empty as well. He dragged the shoe racks into the garden to clean them off and then filled them with some groceries. 'Then I called up some of the people in the neighborhood who I thought might be in need and invited them to come take what they wanted.' Word of Cakir's initiative spread quickly. Soon it was drawing recipients from all around Istanbul, and donors and media attention from across Turkey, and even abroad. But what seemed like a novel idea for pandemic times was actually inspired by a very old tradition: the sadaka tasi, or charity stone.
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