Earthquake: UK communities help victims in Turkey and Syria

Communities across the UK are rallying to offer urgent support to those affected by Monday’s earthquakes in Southern Turkey.

The Turkish and Northern Cypriot Society at the University of Manchester has been organising a unified fundraiser to help those in need.

One of the society’s members, Zeynep, said a number of charities will receive the donations, split equally.

Zeynep said: “They are on the ground, we know they will be able to give the best response and the money will be going to the most efficient use.”

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in the early hours of Monday morning near the city of Gaziantep. This was followed hours later by an aftershock measuring 7.5 on the Richter Scale.

Zeynep added: “I personally know someone that was left homeless. There’s friends of friends that are trapped under rubble or were until recently.”

The devastating effects have also been felt by the Kurdish community and Syrians as well.

Lawand from the Manchester Kurdish Society highlighted how London’s large Kurdish community has been assisting those in need.

Lawand said: “Families are organising large lorries with supplies to Marash, Malatya, Gaziantep. I have friends at depots until four or five in the morning and donations keep coming.”

These cities across Southern Turkey are diverse and multicultural, but many residents in the surrounding countryside are Kurdish. 

The earthquake was felt even as far as Beirut, Lebanon. Shinno Taguchi, a volunteer at a nearby refugee camp, was woken by the tremors on Monday morning. After spending over 10 years living in Japan, Shinno has experienced a number of earthquakes.

Mr Taguchi said: “We were asleep on the ninth floor… it’s one of the strongest quakes I’ve experienced. Near the end of it the fear hit me because I’m in Beirut, the buildings can barely withstand rain.”

The 26-year-old also has family living as refugees in Turkey and Northern Syria. He said: “ I spoke to my mum and they should be fine but it’s not 100% confirmed.”

There has been a strong sense of community amongst those helping raise funds and send supplies to the region. Zeynep added: “ We’ve really seen the Turkish community come together, it’s been an amazing thing to and see be a part of.”

Support and Donations:

Turkish and North Cypriot Society:

British Alevi Federation: (Charity Number: 1041394)

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