The Minibus of Goodness in Istanbul: Ashane  

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İyilik Minibüsü

Translator: Fatıma Nur Dinçer

Mahmut Karaman, a university lecturer by day, and a soup distributor, to those less fortunate, in the evenings in a minibus they call “Ashane” with the support of his son Mustafa Fazil Karaman. Sakarya University, Department of Sociology, Associate Professor Mahmut Karaman is distinguished from his colleagues, his teaching, understanding and analysing of society do not stop at the lecture rooms, he has wholeheartedly chosen to give a lesson of humanity to every evening to those on the streets of Istanbul.  

Father and son, who seek to help the homeless and those hungry on the streets of Istanbul with admirable stability, have been doing this act of goodness for three months now. Tarhana (a type of Turkish soup) in the morning and lentil soup in the evenings, the yellow van brings people waiting in various neighbourhoods of Istanbul together with a bowl of soup accompanied by blessings, with this success, the father and son and their friends, who have not left them alone, become a little closer to their aim every day.

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Work of the kind-hearted: A Piece of Bread and a Cup of Soup 

Stops on the road for a piece of bread and a bowl of hot soup are Eyup Mosque courtyard, Aksaray Metro Station, Fatih-Sarachane Park, Besiktas Park, Uskudar Davut Kadi Mosque courtyard and Harem Park. The total cost of 420 litres of soup and other expenditures, for a total of 500 people, comes to a total of 80 thousand Turkish liras.  

A bowl of soup distributed daily in the soup kitchen van touches those who are less fortunate, who are trying to survive in Istanbul and struggling to get their lives together. This project leans entirely on the work of the kind-hearted, from the moment the warm soup leaves the kitchens till the moment when it reaches the homeless, with sharing the excitement in their eyes. The project breathes with the idea that poor and miserable hearts are in greater need of a hand to hold than those on a hungry stomach. The project is expanding with a variety of other goals added every day, to go beyond being a simple feeding move. 

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“My neighbour will not sleep on an empty stomach” 

Inspired by the Hadith of Prophet Muhammed (saw), “He who sleeps on a full stomach while his neighbour is on an empty stomach is not from us”, the slogans of “My neighbour will not go to bed hungry!” and “Amount the soup you make in accordance to the numbers of your neighbours” was used by the father and son to promote the 2 million blanket distribution in the city. The cup of hot soup distributed every day without anything wanted in return, warmly wraps many, while also spreading the smiles and unity of the true brotherhood. It supplies those people, who may not even have a roof over their head, with sincerity and friendship.  surrounds people who don’t even have a roof over their heads and shelter safely with sincerity and friendship.

This article was originally written in Turkish. Click to read it! İstanbul’un İyilik Minibüsü: Aşhane

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