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'I had to do something': Turkish volunteer feeds Japan earthquake victims

37 Comments
By Kiyoshi Takenaka

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37 Comments
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"There's only so much a team of 10 people can do over two days.

It still better that JGovt that just discuss things, meeting, doing PR and making pledges. While people in that area need food, water and shelter.

-17 ( +17 / -34 )

Great guy!!!..

Excellent news..

Japan needs more gaijins like them..

God bless them..

17 ( +32 / -15 )

It still better that JGovt that just discuss things, meeting, doing PR and making pledges. While people in that area need food, water and shelter.

Let JGovt do their part..

Take it easy..

-11 ( +10 / -21 )

Even if 100 others did what this guy is doing it still probably not be enough. Even if he is the only one, good on him. At least some people are getting some relief. I, and most other people, should try to follow his example.

33 ( +35 / -2 )

Excellent people but the people need massive aid from the central government.

24 ( +28 / -4 )

Good on this man.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

Bravo!!!

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Even if 100 others did what this guy is doing it still probably not be enough.

What, you mean that people wouldn't get threw squares a day? Of course not. That's not the purpose. They purpose is to help out as much as one can, with whatever resources has. To contribute in your own way is the most important thing. And 100 more volunteers all contributing in their own ways would make a big difference.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Excellent people, good on them. We can see from the photos that people are really tired and exhausted. As individuals, we should do our best try to help in this type of situation. It’s not right to expect everything from the government.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

This morning a 5.4 quake at 5:26. Strongest intensity 5+.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

wallace

yes we are still in Ishikawa we felt it,almost every night since jan 1st...

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I'm in tears after reading the last bit of the news. I'll be sending warm clothes to them once I know how to do it.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

 that JGovt that just discuss things, meeting, doing PR and making pledges. While people in that area need food, water and shelter.

And take look at who providing supplies and who gave their lives trying to fly supplies Niigata ?????

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Amazing guy, but IMHO, personal aid should be organized better, just look at google map and the news, dozens and dozens of military trucks stuck in long traffic because people want to volunteer, preventing them from supplying affected areas effectively.

Pool your resources and help, this isn't a society that believe in "taking matters into your own hands", I'd argue even, all the JAL passengers survived because they didn't "take matters into their own hands", instead let the authority did their job.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Great for this man and others like him. Humanity at its finest.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Great to see actions rather than words, fantastic attitude in a dire situation.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Interesting how one or two people on this thread are trying to use this human tragedy to score points. This isn't a competition between different ethnicities - this is a heartwarming story of a Turkish foreigner married to a Japanese woman who is doing what he can to make a difference in such a desperate and sad situation.

Nobody is saying Japanese people aren't doing anything and nobody forgets that those poor people doing a magnificent job flying aid in the coast guard plane died doing that. However, this man has earned the right to simply comment that he wishes more Japanese people would assist.

He is not judging, simply commenting as somebody who lives in Nagoya which is far from Ishikawa. He is not claiming to know why - it could be in his mind that there is not enough organisation going on during non-disaster times from government authorities. I

I hope this tragedy will be a watershed in the way disasters are dealt with - although nothing can be done about broken roads and snow that make it very difficult in this case, our taxes need to be spent far more on preparation for this kind of event and for regional Japan to shore up its towns and villages in whatever way it can.

My own city of Meguro like just about every other city spends taxes on digging up roads and re-paving them in order to use up the budget so more can be requested. This is a practice that needs to stop and these kinds of monies need to go into a designated disaster fund or similar actions need to be taken.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Good on him. It's a bit surprising he got in so easily given the "the area is cut off" stories from the media, but perhaps he's not in the most cut-off place.

With him digging the well (which may not be earthquake resistant) and storing a ton of rice (good!), it sounds like he has a better idea of disaster prevention that the local authorities in Wajima and Suzu. I do not understand why people in shelters in lightly populated farming areas have next to nothing to eat and drink. Did the authorities not bother to store anything at the evacuation centers, bottled water, dried food, blankets?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

a great man, blessings to him.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Thank you, kind sir, and to all like you, regardless of nationality. Disaster certainly is not limited to certain nationalities, nor is suffering, and nor is our ability to try and help and ease that suffering.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It’s just pathetic how some commentators here are trying to put a negative spin on what this Turkish guy has been doing! He is a wonderful man and the lord will shower him with blessing. At the same time those who comment here negatively about him are the ones who will suffer in hell!

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Amazing guy, but IMHO, personal aid should be organized better, just look at google map and the news, dozens and dozens of military trucks stuck in long traffic because people want to volunteer, preventing them from supplying affected areas effectively.

Pool your resources and help, this isn't a society that believe in "taking matters into your own hands", I'd argue even, all the JAL passengers survived because they didn't "take matters into their own hands", instead let the authority did their job.

You sit in your own warm house and try to say negatively about the people who try to volunteer to help those in need! Shame on you! You are a pathetic person with no dignity!

And the way the JAL passengers survived was nothing to do with the authorities doing their job but in reality it was just pure luck and a miracle! Ask any passenger who was on board how disorganized the crew were initially until due to passenger pressure they decided to open the third door for evacuation. Had they just stuck by the rule book and not opened the 3rd door without pilots approval then many people would have died. You are probably a sick racist Japanese who think everything that Japanese do is perfect and everything that foreigners do is wrong… shame on you!

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

What a wonderful humanitarian and great man and the team of volunteers. They lived so far away but traveled through snow etc...to reach the area. They should all be praised for their wonderful help............And I was thinking if Kashida and his pristine dressed officials in their brand new clean uniforms have even bothered to visit the area?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Proof indeed action speak louder than words.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Of the many countries I have visited, I have to say it would be between the Turks and Pakistanis for people who are just out right nice people.

What this guy is doing is amazing and should be praised. I hope the Turkish guys arranged this through some rescue charity. As he has done it before, I am guessing he did, but as others have mentioned, there is the factor of unorganized help at this stage in the disaster.

My brother-in-law was in the SDF and his unit was on maneuvers close by when the Chuestsu earthquake occurred in 2004. They were drafted in almost immediately. He was a missile engineer, but over the years they had done a lot of disaster relief training. He said of his 30+ years in the SDF, that was the hardest job he ever did, both mentally and physically. In Ishikawa currently the SDF will be doing the majority of the footwork along with other emergency services.

But I remember one thing he also said was, people, with all the goodwill in the world, came to try and help, but in the end they mainly got in the way. Blocking already difficult to use roads and using up resources.

I am guessing there are several Youtubers already rushing to the area - cameras switched on of course, and no doubt there will be tales of the 'brave and wonderful' Yakuza giving out help as they did in Kobe and other disasters - they always manage to put a nice spin on their tales even though they are scumbags who you wouldn't say hello to on a lonely day.

The Turkish guy's actions make nice news report, and what he is doing is praiseworthy, but the organized relief efforts of the SDF and other emergency services are doing the majority of work. We just don't see it because the scale is huge.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

But I remember one thing he also said was, people, with all the goodwill in the world, came to try and help, but in the end they mainly got in the way. Blocking already difficult to use roads and using up resources.

that's why Kishida have to decline all the rescue offers from Japan's friends, it is hard for collaboration and in the end SDF might have to spare resources for them. Anyway all countries over the globes are eagerly offering their helping hands to Japan is because Japanese always offer their sincerest help and hospitality (omotenashi) to Japan's friend when they are in need. The world become better place because of Japan and its Western alliance. God bless Japan !

0 ( +3 / -3 )

TheDalaiLamasBifocals, I believe you state a very pertinent point.

The importance of SDF leadership control role, SDF skills experience in maintaining the confidence and trust of the people.

Indeed this is a feelgood news story.

A guy his fellow volunteers risking life and limb to feed serve soup to evacuees.

The SDF ultimately be clearing the debris, building the temporary housing accommodation managing the decision making, organization top to bottom. Sometimes unnoticed unsung heroes.

Arriving at the scenes of desperation, Muhammet said it saddened him to see the absence of more citizen volunteers.

"There's only so much a team of 10 people can do over two days. There's got to be more people out there who can do something," he said. "I know it's New Year's, but this is no time to be resting."

I find this a tad disingenuous.

The SDF will be held ultimately responsible for the health and safety of civilian volunteers, the SDF experience knowledge of managing earthquakes disasters the specialized equipment and organisation is stretched to breaking point working with the danger of future tremors.

I applaud Muhammet heartfelt willingness to volunteer. as stated actions speak louder than words.

I hope Muhammet pays close attention to SDF instructions, and appreciates SDF are not volunteers, the SDF beginning to end role will be decisive to for the entire community future safety and wellbeing.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Good will is very nice.

I praise all of those wishing to help.

Truth said, I never heard once about a Japanese who would have died of cold or hunger after eartquake...

What is needed in this society is psychological comfort in general and he and his fellows give it in particular.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

When a disaster occurs in Japan, food and water can be delivered relatively quickly unless people are isolated. Knowing this, the people will not panic and will quietly stand in line and receive what they need.

We would like to express our gratitude for the offers of support from overseas and the cooperation of volunteers.

We would also like to thank countries such as Taiwan and the United States, as well as the personal cooperation of Turkish and Vietnamese people living in Japan, as shown in this article.

If you apply to become a volunteer, you will receive a stipend of approximately 200,000 yen, so please take it home with you. Disasters are commonplace in Japan, so no one knows when the next one will occur.

Oh? We haven't heard any cooperation from Japan's oldest community and over 600,000 people, have we? It doesn't seem like they did anything special during 311, but are they still a group with a high crime rate?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Legend! Leading the way!

Maybe Kishida can actually get his blue work jacket dirty and go and help himself…..won’t hold my breath!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

A great community service. Kudos to this man and his team.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This guy has the right idea with emergency supplies on hand. Every region needs to have such supplies and the means to distribute, not in their region but neighboring regions that experience disasters. When your region has a disaster your paralyzed and unable to help yourself, so thats when neighboring regions unaffected, use THEIR emergency supplies to assist you

This is not rocket science, but it needs good organization to set up and good people in charge to get things moving to help. Help others, and they in turn help you when you need it. That is how it needs to be.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good on him. It's a bit surprising he got in so easily given the "the area is cut off" stories from the media, but perhaps he's not in the most cut-off place.

The media will typically only go to the easy to access areas. Same with most supplies. So the reality is probably worse than we see.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What a wonderful person.

And if someone comments saying "what a wonderful person"

How can the get down votes.

Bizarre.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Personally, I think it's a great move and I'm grateful.

However, that is not to say that they are welcomed by the locals.

In fact, there is a strong local opinion that these selfish people should not come because they cause traffic jams and stop the transportation of necessary goods.

Volunteers are recruited as needed by each district, and the functions of municipalities are by no means at a standstill.

It is true that we all have a genuine desire to help people.

But what if that feeling is actually not welcomed locally?

What you think is right is not necessarily right for others.

Please remember that there are also negative opinions from the disaster-stricken areas.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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