Expat guide: How to help the earthquake victims in Türkiye


FEB 09, 2023

People look through boxes of aid materials in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Hatay, Türkiye, Feb. 9, 2023. (Reuters Photo)

The whole country has mobilized to provide help to the victims of the devastating earthquakes that transpired Monday in southeast Türkiye. Here’s how we can assist the displaced in regions affected by the disaster

There are many ways we can provide assistance to earthquake victims and here’s how you can help.

Early Monday morning, Türkiye’s southeast region was hit by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake followed by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Gaziantep and Kahramanmaraş and a series of aftershocks, killing over 12,000 and injuring more than 62,000, leaving many still missing and tens of thousands displaced. The 10 provinces hit hardest by the earthquake – Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adıyaman, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Malatya, Kilis and Adana – have been declared disaster zones. Since the very start, however, the entire nation has rallied together to provide aid to victims of the quakes.

Turks know how to help in times of need and even have a word for the concept called “imece.” When help is needed, they will do all that they can to provide including extending physical effort, donating goods and opening up their businesses or homes. With these earthquakes – the first one being the second biggest to ever hit Türkiye with the biggest being 84 years ago in 1939 in Erzincan – not only have thousands of buildings collapsed, but the cold weather is having an adverse effect in the region with subzero temperatures at night. With many of the survivors unable to enter their homes, one cannot even imagine how difficult the conditions may be. This is why if we have the ability to help, there are a number of ways to donate aid from wherever you are for the victims in this difficult aftermath.

There are a variety of official channels to donate online or via SMS text messaging and most municipalities countrywide have set up crisis and collection centers to pick up and receive donated items. Hotels have opened their doors, flight prices have been slashed, and centers established as shelters in the region.

Here’s how to help
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) is the main entity organizing rescue and relief efforts in the country. Direct donations can be made in Türkish lira, dollars and euros to the bank accounts listed on en.afad.gov.tr. There is also an earthquake humanitarian campaign, another way of donating online. Another easy option is to send an SMS by phone to 1866 and write DEPREM and you automatically donate TL 20 ($1.25).

The Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) organization is also coordinating relief efforts in the affected regions. Donations can be made online in Türkish lira, dollars and euros at kizilay.org.tr and via phone by texting DEPREM to 2868 to donate TL 15.

Aid materials sorted by the Turkish Red Crescent and volunteers are loaded onto trucks after being packed in logistics center in Buca, Izmir, western Türkiye, Feb. 9, 2023. (AA Photo)
Aid materials sorted by the Turkish Red Crescent and volunteers are loaded onto trucks after being packed in logistics center in Buca, Izmir, western Türkiye, Feb. 9, 2023. (AA Photo)
The AKUT Search and Rescue Association, or AKUT Arama Kurtarma Derneği, is the country’s main voluntary search and rescue organization. They accept online donations via akut.org.tr and also have an SMS donation service which can be availed of by texting AKUT to 2930 to donate TL 10.

AHBAP is a highly active voluntary network whose mission is to support people in need. Founded by Türkish rock star Haluk Levent, the organization has a strong network of tens of thousands of volunteers all over the country and especially in the affected regions. The AHBAP website has a list of places people can go to for shelter on their “Earthquake Safe Spots Map,” listing over 150 different venues such as sports centers, dormitories and stadiums providing shelter as well as restaurants that have opened their doors to quake victims. AHBAP is also accepting online donations at bagis.ahbap.org

How to donate needed items
In Istanbul, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) has launched an aid campaign to collect items needed by victims of the earthquakes. Working in coordination with the AFAD, IBB’s list of items requested are as follows: Heaters, blankets, bedsheets, pillows, food boxes, dried goods, general hygiene sets, female hygiene kits, clean clothes, clean baby clothes, sleeping bags, baby food, power banks, winter boots and coats, scarves, beanies and gloves. These items can be donated by calling ALO 153 and finding the nearest contact center, or by dropping them off at the IBB logistics centers in Yenikapı and Kartal.

In Bodrum, the AFAD and Turkish Red Crescent have requested a list of items that are being collected at the Herodotus Cultural Center and will be delivered to the region by Muğla’s AFAD Department. The list of items requested are tents, blankets, winter clothes, jackets, hats, gloves, sweaters, boots, polar, diapers, baby food, female hygiene kits, baby slings, raincoats, sickbeds, wheelchairs, heaters, dried goods and dog-cat food.

The Herodotus Cultural Center in Muğla’s Bodrum district is seen overflowed with clothing and other supplies to be sent to the earthquake zone, Bodrum, Türkiye, Feb. 8, 2023. (AA Photo)
The Herodotus Cultural Center in Muğla’s Bodrum district is seen overflowed with clothing and other supplies to be sent to the earthquake zone, Bodrum, Türkiye, Feb. 8, 2023. (AA Photo)
There are a number of collection centers throughout the Fethiye region, including the Özer Olgun Kültür Merkezi, Karaçulha Hizmet Binası, Sosyal Yardım Işleri Müdürlüğü, Kalpler Birlikte Mağazası and the Göcek Belediye Hizmet Binasi and Ölüdeniz Belediye Hizmet Binasi, which are municipal service buildings. Items requested are blankets, heaters, dry and canned food and winter clothes for children and adults. In Dalyan, Tüsev will be collecting items from the Naciye Tinaztepe İlköğretim Okulu, or you can call and arrange a pickup.

Many markets and stores are also offering discounts on needed items; and from almost anywhere in Türkiye, Yurtiçi Kargo will be offering free delivery of any items being donated to the Ministry of Family and Social Services on their list, which include: Previously unused or new clothing such as gloves, jackets, boots, hats, children’s coats and winter clothes, sanitary products, blankets, power banks, canned goods, diapers and baby food.

The Big Four of Turkish football, namely Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor, also kicked off their own aid campaigns and are collecting donations.

In other initiatives, Otelz.com has created a “Geçmiş Olsun Türkiyem” network in which hundreds of hotels from all over the country are offering free accommodation for earthquake victims. The full list can be accessed at http://www.otelz.com/gecmisolsunturkiyem. Meanwhile, Türkish Airlines has announced they have set all flights from Adana, Diyarbakır, Şanlıurfa and Elazığ at a price of TL 100 until Feb. 13.

source https://www.dailysabah.com/life/expat-guide-how-to-help-the-earthquake-victims-in-turkiye/news

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