A Turkish national, known in Chinese as Tang Xiaoqiang, has been confirmed to have died in the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday.
Tang previously studied in Xiamen, Fujian province and was a regular guest on the talk show Informal Talks.
Tang’s body was pulled from the rubble of the collapsed Isias Hotel in Adiyaman, Southeast Turkey, at around 2am Beijing Standard Time (BJT) on the morning of Friday, February 10, more than four days since the quake struck.
A heart-wrenching post on Weibo, shared by Tang’s friend Omar, confirmed the news of his passing.
The post reads:
It was confirmed that my lifelong brother, Tang Xiaoqiang was killed in the earthquake disaster in Turkey. Please respect the wishes of his family at this time.
I lost a friend who was like a brother to me. Inshaalah, your beautiful soul will be sent to heaven's highest position, brother Tang Xiaoqiang.
God rest his soul.
Thank you for your support of this good man. Please remember him, remember his beautiful soul.
On Friday afternoon, Tang's death was the number one trending topic on Weibo with over 1 billion views, as of press time.
Tang arrived in China in 2010 and studied at the Xiamen University of Overseas Education College before appearing as the representative for Turkey on five episodes of Hubei Television’s Informal Talks.
Informal Talks is a talk show where foreigners in China discuss different topics and issues using Mandarin.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tang volunteered as a healthcare worker in his community, delivering supplies to those in need and helping elderly people travel between their homes and testing sites.
As of press time, more than 20,000 people are known to have been killed in the earthquake.
The chances of finding more survivors are getting slimmer with every passing second, especially since the 72-hour golden window for recovering people who are still alive has already passed.
Those who survived now have to tackle freezing temperatures with very little shelter and limited supplies.
If you want to donate to disaster relief, you can check out the article below.
People in Shanghai can also purchase an Earthquake Relief Care Gift Package which will be shipped to Turkey on Monday, February 13.
Anyone who purchases a relief care package will be given an RMB500 meal voucher thank-you gift to be enjoyed at Bhacus from Azul Group.
[Cover image via Weibo]