Bags of Qurbani Meat Cheer Up the Uighur Community in Turkey

The Uighur Diasporic Community in Turkey live in limited conditions after emigrating from their homeland in Xinjiang to avoid persecution and oppression. Global Qurban – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) aims to lighten their burden on Eid Al-Adha by providing qurbani packages in 2019.

A Uighur resident carrying qurbani packages home. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, KAYSERI - Living in their asylum country, the Uighur diasporic community un Kayseri, Turkey, are still living in difficulties. They can’t fulfill even their daily needs, especially as the economic conditions in Turkey fluctuate due to the pandemic.

"Right now, they can’t even rent a house, get a job, or go to school due to their status as asylum seekers. Living as refugees in their asylum country is not exactly a walk in the park. The Uighurs are known to be hard workers, and they are working hard to make ends meet. But it’s still difficult for them, "explained Firdaus Guritno from the Global Qurban – ACT team.

To ease their burden, in Eid Al-Adha 2019, Global Qurban – ACT brought qurbani packages from the people of Indonesia. Dozens of qurbani animals were distributed to two locations in Kayseri inhabited by Uighur communities.

"We chose these two locations because the Uighurs in Kayseri are in dire need of aid. They came all the way to Kayseri for freedom of worship. We aim to support them. Besides, these two locations had the most refugee population,” Firdaus said.

Bags of qurbani meat ready to be distributed. (ACTNews)

A total of 450 people benefitted from the qurbani distribution. Seyyit Abdulkadir Tumturk, a representative of the Uighur community in Kayseri, expressed her gratefulness for the assistance from the Indonesian people. He was pleased with how the generosity of the Indonesian people reached the Uighurs in Turkey.

"We believe and see directly that Indonesian Muslims never forget their brothers and sisters at this year's Eid Al-Adha, and this assistance is one of the hallmarks of their kindness. Even though we live in a faraway continent, with different language, skin color, culture and ethnicity, but our hearts and and emotions interconnected," Seyyit said.

Firdaus hoped that, this year, the generosity of the Indonesian people will once again reach the Uighur diasporic community in Kayseri so that they can feel the joy of Eid Al-Adha amid pandemic.

"Hopefully, the generosity of the Indonesian people can once again reach Kayseri, so that they can be happy in the midst of this difficult situation," hoped Firdaus.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the employment in Turkey as the country was recovering from the first recession in a decade when the coronavirus hit.

With a risk of mass unemployment, a collapse in tourism and an unstable currency, "the situation is extremely bad", said Atilla Yesilada, an economist at GlobalSource Partners think tank, reported by AFP in May.

As reported by CNBC Indonesia, the Turkish government had previously launched a stimulus package in March before the coronavirus hit. However, the assistance was seen by a number of parties as being inadequate.

The impact of COVID-19 is also felt by the Uighur community in Istanbul, Turkey. Their livelihood has been hampered and their income declines, resulting in many Uighur poor families unable to meet their basic needs.