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Citizens evacuated from pandemic-hit US say they feel safer in Turkey

Citizens evacuated from pandemic-hit US say they feel safer in Turkey

Some 305 Turks who were brought to Turkey on a special flight from the United States earlier this week hail the care they have received in their homeland amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Funda Can, one of the evacuees brought from Miami to Sivas in central Turkey, says she feared “dying” back in the U.S. “They could have not admitted me into a hospital. Even if they did, I wouldn’t be able to afford hospital bills. May God bless the Turkish state,” she told the Sabah newspaper.

Can and others are being accommodated at a student dormitory, one of many across Turkey which emptied after universities were closed and now are used to host evacuees from abroad.

“We have been through dark days (in the U.S.). I am grateful to my country,” said Didem Çetin, another returnee from Miami.

Returnees will spend their next 14 days in quarantine at the dormitory to which they were admitted after undergoing medical checks. Happy to return their home country, they also heaped praise on Turkey’s health care system for rising to the occasion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can, who will spend her days in quarantine with her dog she brought from the U.S., has been a Miami resident for the past five years. A nanny, Can found herself jobless “when everything came to a halt two months ago.”

“There was a lockdown and I was unemployed. I was always anxious. I was away from my country and always had questions in my mind, if I’d be cared for in the United States if I am infected,” she said.