Under the epidemic, The Overseas Chinese in Turkey are on the move

As a person who has participated in the domestic voluntary fund-raising, I deeply feel that due to the shortage of domestic medical supplies, the help from overseas Chinese is very helpful to our fundraising process. I'm very much looking forward to hearing the voices of people who are overseas but still have their hearts in their country, and to seeing how what they see during the epidemic differs from what we see. I chose to interview Mr. Malis, vice President of The Turkish-china Association for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification in Turkey. Let's listen and explore what he sees from a different perspective, the same and different.
Outbreak of the epidemic

I grew up in Wuzhong, Ningxia, and I am an overseas Chinese working in Turkey for a long time. The first time I realized that the epidemic was earlier than the average person in the country was on January 14, 2020.I was traveling and not in Istanbul.

I read the news on today's headline, about the new pneumonia found in Wuhan.At that time, I didn't pay much attention to it. I only thought "it should be a normal flu", and then I didn't pay attention to it.Because just glancing at it and saying, "Oh, there's a new flu in this country," gives the impression.

Later, the seriousness of the epidemic was really felt when Chinese and overseas Chinese around the world began to organize donations of protective suits, goggles, masks and other medical supplies needed by the epidemic.At this point, I sensed that this might not be so simple.Because in terms of the scale of production in our country, it should not be in a state where overseas Chinese from all over the world are needed to raise money for the country.What this shows is that domestic supply is not sufficient to represent the severity of the epidemic at home.

The impact of the epidemic on my work and my life has been really big. Take jobs for example. First, China is a big exporter. After the outbreak of the epidemic, many countries that are not familiar with the epidemic have made a series of malicious judgments against China, which has forced the suspension of many trade transactions.Another popular point that is, this half a year no way to do business. Because the Turkish government issued a ban: Chinese products can not come in, Turkish products can not go out, that is, trade can not be done. My job in Turkey is trade, and trade can't be done, and this is going to have a big impact on us. We may have to close for six months or more, until the epidemic is over. However, I also believe that this matter will not last long and can be resolved in the shortest possible time. When COVID-19 happens, it has a huge impact on the world economy, not just in China, but in many countries. In addition to our Chinese, Turkey's own economy has also been hit hard.

Began to raise money

I am the chief promoter of this collection. New Year's Eve January 24 that day, we several colleagues, friends together to eat the New Year's Eve dinner, several President, vice President are also in. We didn't think about it at the dinner table. We just talked about it at home. This seems like a big deal, so this year we need to do the worst possible budget estimate for economic losses.

After saying this, because the overseas Chinese life is very monotonous, I went home at night and had a drink with some friends to celebrate the New Year.When I was drinking, I suddenly remembered that masks in some hospitals in China were in short supply, especially in some remote health centers in towns and villages. Basically, there were no masks and the prices were very high. So let's organize the Overseas Chinese in Turkey to donate. We also reported this matter to the director of The Eurasia Office of the China Association for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification. They also said that this matter was a good thing and could be done. So from that day on, we started a real Turkish operation to donate medical supplies to Turkey.

There are five core members of this donation. None of them have ever had experience in this area, all rely on our own online search departments and the information provided by each netizen, groping step by step. Our association issued a letter of recommendation, posted on the website and the local Chinese exchange group.

Process of the collection

I remember one day answering phones from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., when both my cell phones were dead. I hardly hung up the phone all day. In the beginning, the donation was made by all kinds of people and all kinds of words When we first organized the fundraising, many people, apart from being busy, doubted that we would make money through this emergency happening in Our country, that is, make money from the national disaster. Many of those who said this were domestic travellers to Turkey, not local Chinese. We didn't care -- the sounds didn't make any difference to us.

Then we announced the results of the donation, and when everything was going smoothly, the voices died away. I would have liked to hear them say something more, even if it was a question, but they didn't say anything.

At that time, There were 11 factories producing surgical masks in Turkey. After contacting with them, we asked them to send the masks to the designated airport and warehouse. At that time, the masks we bought were very cheap. For surgical masks, 2,000 were only 250 yuan, which was very cheap. We bought a lot of them, tens of thousands of them.

We got in touch with the Red Cross Society of China in Beijing through the contact information provided by the Director of the Asia and Europe Division, and they opened a letter of acceptance for us. Mr. Wen, the general manager of China Southern Airlines, was also in Turkey at that time. After we contacted him, he said that he was particularly willing to help us deliver the goods back free of charge. Without any hesitation, he promised to help us with the arrangement immediately. The cargo plane was loaded, and a whole plane came to haul for us. Taking the letter of donation, we went to a customs broker in Turkey -- the customs broker is the local agency in charge of material export in Turkey. All of our export materials are subject to customs declaration. After customs declaration, the local government of Turkey also gave us great support and gave us free customs clearance.

We are not particularly familiar with the specific situation in China, so we did not designate the hospital to be donated. Therefore, we decided that the Red Cross Society of China should be fully responsible for taking the supplies back: some of these masks were shipped to Inner Mongolia, some to Wuhan, and some to Zhejiang. After that, we purchased by ourselves and sent express mail back to China through DHR Freight Company, donating 10,000 pieces of protective clothing to Wenzhou City government of Zhejiang province.Apart from the doubts and busyness, the whole process was smooth. Early supplies are in place within a week or so. See written proposal of overseas Chinese overseas Chinese are actively involved in the donation, some people donated 50, some people donated 5,000.

Some of them are donations, and we're responsible for getting them to where they're needed here at home.Slowly, they add up to hundreds of thousands.

In fact, many individuals and organizations approached us during the fundraising period, hoping to get some reliable supplies through us. But we have provided help and sourcing only for China Coal Group, a subsidiary of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of Anhui Province, and not for anyone else -- because there is some economic fraud involved.

Many people come to Turkey not to buy or donate, but to buy or sell; They left messages saying they wanted to buy hundreds of thousands of masks. I never replied to their messages. We don't want to get married for nothing for these merchants.

Now we haven't really stopped raising money, but we've changed direction. Our 15,000 masks will be donated to the government of Istanbul, Turkey tomorrow. These masks were stored and supplied locally in the early days, with a value of about 100,000 lira. Now the situation in Turkey is also very serious. The number of cases has tripled every day for five days. More than 900 cases have now been confirmed. The [Turkish] government gave us a lot of support in the early days and we will not forget the help we received.

What I've seen in this collection

What impressed me most about this donation is that many overseas Chinese have a high level of love for their country at a time when the motherland is in crisis. People were particularly active, which I had not expected -- and the overseas Chinese, who had emigrated after so many years of living abroad and were no longer Chinese nationals, were the most active in the fundraising. The least active group is probably the Chinese, who have just arrived in Turkey for a variety of reasons, and these groups are the most annoying. In my opinion, the difference between an Overseas Chinese who has just come to China and a Chinese who has lived overseas for so many years lies in their different horizon -- their perception of the strength of their country and their cultural perception of their nation are different. As we have been here for so many years, it gives me the feeling that a Chinese is overseas, and what you call personal safety, property security, is that our country has given us a lot of support. No matter at any time and in any difficulty, our country will help you without reservation. This kind of feeling, in the home is very difficult to experience. And when you try to argue with foreigners against you, with China's current speed of development and military strength, you will feel extremely proud. These are things that are difficult for people who have just left the country and come overseas to experience. They rarely have the opportunity to communicate with foreigners directly, and what they see abroad is reported in the news, which may lead to a lack of understanding.

What moved me most was that although many people were worried about Chinese exclusion overseas, I dare not say that I have come across anything in my communication circle in Turkey that has anything to do with the word discrimination. When my local friends meet me, they laugh at me at most and pretend to be afraid to approach me, but they still come and hug me in the end. Most of them believe in Islam, and when they see me, one of the words they often say is "May God land peace and happiness on you Chinese people, and I hope you will recover soon." That's the most I've heard since the outbreak began, and that's what everyone tells me when they meet.

This epidemic has made me deeply appreciate the importance that the Chinese government and state leaders attach to the people. I believe it is very difficult for such a large country with such a large population to control the situation in such a short time. All of our medical supplies are given to the people for free, the sick country pays for them, and... all the things we can see and can't see are testimony to the prosperity of our country and the importance our country places on the lives of ordinary people. But I want to go home to my own country. There is no doubt in my mind that the safest place in the world is China. Even if you get sick in China, you are not afraid, because you have a strong system and medical resources behind you. Our country has donated medical supplies and sent medical personnel to other countries even at the time of its own crisis, which is a true demonstration of its great power demeanor.

In fact, the donation to our own brought a lot of: the local Chinese overseas Chinese to our evaluation and trust are higher, everyone will ask us for advice on anything; When the local citizens see the overseas Chinese of our country facing difficulties in their own country, they will voluntarily and bravely do these things, and they all think highly of us. But we do it for no reason at all;Just in the motherland when the crisis to come up with some of the ability to things.In the land of the motherland to live for so many years, it is time to return to the motherland, this is our little mind, but also a piece of our sincere heart, is a very simple thing.

Until the epidemic is over, I will not go back to My country. I will stay in quarantine in Turkey and wait for work to start. When everything is over, I will find time to go back to China.

Interviewed By

Meng Xiang



Interview Date



Vice President of China Peaceful Reunification Promotion Association in Turkey