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Tarık, 15, Student

Many homeless people are people who use substances. When I see them, I think, I could have been one of them if I hadn’t met Deliler Coffeehouse. If someone hadn’t helped me; I could steal, I could be a killer, it would be so easy for me to be such a person.I felt an emptiness since the beginning of my life. You’re looking for something to fill it. If you are lucky you find it somewhere. “That’s the Deliler Coffeehouse for me” says Tarık. I am telling him to stop.” Let’s take the story from the beginning of fifteen years. 

Tarık’s is not an interesting story. In every neighborhood, in every apartment, perhaps every family there is a ‘Tarık’. Somebody’s son, somebody’s older brother, somebody’s younger one…

Apart from the negative effects of some unpleasant events occurred in his family, he had a good childhood. After graduating from primary school, he was a stereotypical “loser”, short, skinny and a nerd with glasses. He was encouraged by his father to do exercise all the time. One day he had a breakthrough in his body. His muscles arose. He was not a teenager anymore. He was relieved and feeling strong. He had his self confidence and he was proving in by getting into some school fights. This continued later on. He started to smoke, started to drink and finally he started to use drugs.

While his life was going on so for a while, Tarık met with Deliler Coffeehouse volunteers and Ali Denizci with the occasion of his mother. After that he had that “Big Question” of “Who am I? “What am I doing?”, “Why did I come to this world?” Trying to find out those answers with her brothers, sisters and elders in the coffeehouse Tarık started to realize and say “If I hadn’t come here, I probably wouldn’t be myself right now; somehow I would have found money from somewhere and I would be using some drugs both inside the house and in the friendship environment. I’d be too weak. I wouldn’t be able to eat because of the drugs I used.

In Deliler Coffeehouse where both the volunteers and the people in need mirror themselves, the reason for Tarık’s volunteerism is very simple: “Many homeless people are people who use substances. When I see them, I think, I could have been one of them if I hadn’t met Deliler Coffeehouse. If someone hadn’t helped me, I could steal, I could be a killer, it would be so easy for me to be such a person”. He continues his words with hope: “I am trying to get my life together. Those people may not have the chance to get their life together even if they want to. If we do not help, they can stab someone in a corner or harass or kill. As Ali DENİZCİ says, “Yaşar is just one of the examples that we may end up to be”, I feel the same when I see those homeless people.

Tarık, who gained this awareness in a short time, sees this place as a road or a staircase. Every time he puts an effort into voluntary work, he feels he’s stepping up one step. There is a huge prize at the top of the stairs. It is very simple when you think about it. It is you. The “real”, “pure” you. When you reach the top you either know yourself or you meet with yourself for the first time. People are born, they have a certain temperament and their personality are shaped according to their environment. I find it as an important step of finding “yourself”.

Tarık is an active volunteer at Deliler Coffeehouse’s boutique, soup kitchen, and distribution of food. He also takes math lessons from other volunteers and continues his education at full speed. The feeling of emptiness he mentioned at first is completed here. He wants to continue volunteering at the café. He doesn’t want to use any drugs again. He wants to serve people with the works he does in the rest of his life. He does not want to have a life by earning money only, he also wants to contribute to his environment.

When we ask him what message he wants to deliver his peers, he smiles and says “not to hang out with bad friends who say “Dude, come hang out, try it”.

*Yaşar is one of the oldest “cuckoo”s of Deliler Coffeehouse.
Although he is around 40, his mental ability is equal to a 5-year-old person due to a car accident he had.
He is always with us. His meal, cloth, bathe, allowance, etc requirements and visiting his mother’s grave are supported by us.
He inspires us in so many aspects. To be able to understand what we mean, you have to “meet” Yaşar, you have to “know” Yaşar.