An NHS worker who lost her purse in the UK was shocked after it was discovered by a man in TURKEY over a year later—and now the two strangers are friends.
After losing her purse in September 2019, Nikita Turvey desperately searched her home and work from top to bottom looking for it—but sadly, it was nowhere to be found.
The 24-year-old from Harlow, Essex, had accepted that it was gone for good and set about the annoying task of ordering all new cards, work passes, and IDs.
But incredibly, over one year later in November 2020, she received a message from a stranger on Instagram who sent her a photograph of the student card that was inside her lost purse.
The man named Kaya works with recycling materials in Turkey and revealed that he had discovered Nikita’s purse on the ground, so he decided to find its rightful owner.
The two have since struck up a friendship through social media and chat regularly—with Nikita adding, she would love to meet up with Kaya if he ever had the chance to come to the UK.
Nikita, who works as an NHS CCP virus test and tracer, said: “I was gutted when I lost my purse. It has all my college cards in it that I’d saved and my work pass.
“I have no idea when or how I lost it, I just know at that time I was working a lot. It might have somehow fallen into a recycling bin.”
She said she “spent a solid week looking everywhere at home, at work, in all my coat pockets, in old bags” for her purse, but to no avail.
“I had no idea that at that time it was already starting its journey to Turkey,” she added. “Then in November I had a random request in my messages in Instagram. I was a bit weary at first.
“But then I realised he had found my purse, and I was gobsmacked when I realised he wasn’t from England.”
The two talked a lot for a few days. He sent her a video while out walking in Turkey, and she showed him what England was like.
“It was quite nice to be connected in such a nice humane way after the year of lockdown, and feeling so disconnected from everyone in the world,” she said.
“I’d definitely like to meet up with Kaya if he ever made his way to the UK!”
While Nikita instructed Kaya to just throw the purse out, he adorably said he would keep the two 20 pence coins that were in it as a “memory”—and jokingly added that he would bring the purse to England one day to return it to her.
While she is thankful she was lucky in this case, Nikita warns of the dangers of England sending recycling to Turkey—both on a personal level and for the environment.
“I had no idea our recycling went to Turkey,” she said. “I kind of assumed we sent it abroad but I didn’t realise the vast scale in which we do.
“Since then I have learnt more about what we do with our recycling and wrote to my MP to share my concerns.
“We are literally overfilling Turkey, and other countries, with our recycling. It seems so backwards that we don’t do it ourselves.”
Nikita said she is also worried because many people’s data goes into recycling, and that can lead to fraud and other problems.
“But thankfully for me, I’ve made a friend,” she added.
Kaya had nothing to gain from messaging her “except just general excitement over the purse making it to Turkey and wanting to share it with me,” she said, “and there’s something lovely about that.
“I think social media can be a negative thing in a lot of people’s lives but this shows how it can be used to bring people together and connect people from overseas.”
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.