Turkish taxi driver's gesture warms Swedish hearts

Tukish TV showing a photo of the businessman and the taxi driver in a Swedish Newspaper Image copyright Ahaber News
Image caption The story touched many people on social media

A Turkish-born taxi driver in Sweden has been hailed as a hero after he lent his credit card for three days to a customer who forgot his wallet on his way to a business trip in Germany.

The story was reported in Sweden and has become viral on social media in Turkey.

The businessman, Christer Ostlund, told Dagens Nyheter newspaper that he was worried that he couldn't have been able to make it home and back to the airport on time.

Then his driver, Omer Temel, offered his credit card, assuring him that there was enough money on it.

As Mr Temel refused Mr Ostlund's offer to transfer him money through a Swedish phone app, the client accepted his driver's unexpected offer. Mr Temel then passed his card to Mr Ostlund, giving him his pin number and contact details.

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Mr Ostlund was touched by the gesture. "I had never met this person before. He had no idea who I was and where I was heading," he said.

The story was picked up by Turkish media outlets, which often carry positive stories involving Turkish nationals abroad.

Mr Ostlund's remark that "people like Temel would save the world" was shared widely.

In response, Mr Temel said: "In my world you must dare to trust people, life feels more blissful if you can live that way."

One Twitter user jokingly posted: "Just don't try this in Turkey", followed by laughing emojis.

'Faith in humanity restored'

Image copyright Ahaber News
Image caption Christer Ostlund returned the money after he came back from his business trip

Meanwhile, Swedish social media users praised the driver for his act of kindness.

"Sometimes faith in humanity is restored. Not often, but occasionally," one Facebook user commented under the story.

"This warms my heart. I've never heard anything like this before," another person wrote.

The story comes amid rising populism and polarisation in Swedish politics.

The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD) gained momentum in the September 2018 election, which led to a government deadlock for the longest post-election period.

After months of failed talks, Sweden's centre-left and centre-right parties formed a coalition government in January to exclude the far-right.

"There are racists in Sweden who create prejudices about foreigners. One tends to believe this and therefore the perception of foreigners becomes limited," a Facebook user commented under the story.

"I wonder what SD thinks about this, as they claim foreigners are after taxpayers money in Sweden. Honour to this man," a Facebook user added.

Mr Ostlund ended up borrowing 4,200 Swedish kronor (450 US dollars) of Temel's money, which he returned after they reunited at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm.

Reporting by Ilgin Karlidag

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