Turkish businessman helps frontline workers fight coronavirus

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-13 14:23:25|Editor: Yurou
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FUZHOU, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The distinct aroma of kebab and cheese drift through the closed door of a Turkish restaurant in the eastern Chinese city of Fuzhou despite a closure notice posted on the door.

The restaurant, though closed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, has delivered hundreds of take-out meals to medical workers, community workers and policemen for free near the neighborhood over the past few days.

Alaaddin Colak, the Turkish restaurant owner, said people working on the front lines are too busy to have lunch, so he decided to do what he can to prepare and deliver meals for them. He also puts 20 masks and three Turkish soaps in each package along with the food.

In his neighborhood, 14 community workers have to serve over 16,000 residents. Though the team has been reinforced earlier for further epidemic control, the intensive workload keeps workers too busy to have meals.

The meals delivered by Colak's restaurant are more than food, but encouragement and respect, said Chen Huali, a community worker in the neighborhood.

The ongoing epidemic has led to tight supply of some materials, so the idea of delivering meals can hardly last very long, said Colak. He is now working to acquire medical supplies from overseas, such as protective masks and suits for those in need.

"It's not the time for haggling over the price. The more, the better," said the Turkish businessman who has lived in Fuzhou for 25 years with his family.

He has also reached out to hundreds of medical supply manufacturers in Turkey and closely follows the local demand for the supplies, especially from hospitals, so he can ship the products to the front lines.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Colak said he was impressed and inspired by Chinese people with their efforts in maintaining stable food prices and providing enough necessary supplies. Doctors, nurses and community workers are racing against the clock to fight the disease.

"I believe it won't be long before local residents play chess and drink tea under the shade of banyan trees just as they did before," he said.