Turkish student writes to Chinese embassy to ask for coronavirus compensation

Virus from China responsible for quarantine, extra rent, delayed graduation: Student

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The Aya Sofia in Istanbul, closed due to the coronavirus pandemic 

The Aya Sofia in Istanbul, closed due to the coronavirus pandemic  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A student in Turkey is winning public support after he wrote a letter to the Chinese embassy demanding compensation for the impact of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, CNA reported Monday (March 23).

Broadcast design and management student Çağatay Orkun Çelikbaş, 22, said that as the virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and the initial cover-up harmed the whole world, China should bear its responsibility.

He had hoped to graduate three months from now and find work as a television reporter, but instead he has been stuck in an apartment for which he had to continue pay rent, eating up his parents’ savings, the student told CNA.

Çelikbaş said he was “going crazy” because he was too afraid of being infected by the Wuhan virus to go out and touch anything. As China suppressed the early reports about the epidemic, it needs to shoulder the responsibility, he argued.

In his letter, the Anadolu University student wrote how three weeks of home quarantine was affecting his mental state and financial situation. He asked for compensation from the Chinese government for his extra rent, study expenses, and psychological damage, CNA reported.

Online, thousands expressed their sympathy for his action, with attorneys and reporters offering their support in trying to pursue the matter.