Female truck driver travels 4,300 km without rest to bring aid to quake zone

Female truck driver travels 4,300 km without rest to bring aid to quake zone

Female truck driver travels 4,300 km without rest to bring aid to quake zone

A female truck driver in France who has traveled 4,300 km for four days without a break and delivered 420 parcels of aid to the quake-stricken southern province of Kahramanmaraş, was included in the “Heroic women” photo series projected by the Culture and Tourism Ministry on the Galata Tower on Women’s Day.

Twenty-four-year-old Gülfem Zengin, the daughter of a blue-collar family in France, is originally from the central Anatolian province of Yozgat.

Working for four years as a truck driver, Zengin received the news of the quakes while she was working.

“As I was thinking about how I could help, a friend of mine told me that hundreds of parcels of aid had been collected but there was no truck to take them. On the sixth day after the quakes, I took the parcels and set off,” she said.

She stated that it is mandatory for truck drivers to travel for nine hours and rest for another nine, but she disregarded the rules. She traveled for four days without rest as her only goal was to reach the quake zone.

Zengin took 420 aid parcels to the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) center, where she witnessed a great solidarity.

“I promised my mother that I would return immediately, but I stayed in the region for a few days. I learned in the quake zone what pain and sadness actually meant,” she said.

Zengin, who broadcasts her journeys on social media and has a large following, told the journalists how she came to choose her profession.

“I have worked many jobs, but I didn’t enjoy any of them. I decided to become a truck driver. At the age of 20, I started working in a transportation company. After working there for two years, I started my own company,” she said.

“In France, this is a job usually done by retired women. My family was against it when I chose to do this at first. But now they are proud of me. Three years ago I made a social media account because I wanted to be an example for women who want to stand on their own feet,” she added.

The photo of Gülfem Zengin bringing aid materials was projected on the Galata Tower in Istanbul on March 8.

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