Syriacs in Europe to aid quake victims
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
More than 600 people died and thousands of buildings were damaged during the quake. Hürriyet photoSyriac Christian associations in Europe have rolled into action to provide relief for victims of the devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake that rocked the eastern province of Van in October.
“We are ready to do everything that falls on our part because we are from Turkey and every problem in Turkey is of particular concern to us,” Tuma Çelik, the head of the Turkish branch of the European Syriac Union (ESU), told the Hürriyet Daily News.
Syriac associations in Europe decided to send aid to the victims of the Van quake after Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy of Syriac origin Erol Dora met with representatives of Syriac associations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and federations in Germany that are leading the aid efforts on the continent.
“There may have been individual donations also, but we decided to do something together. The campaign kicked off in the second half of November and there is massive interest,” Çelik said.
The aid will consist solely of cash donations rather than foodstuffs or clothing articles, Çelik said, and the collected sum was then going to be presented to the Van Governors’ Office and the city’s mayor.
“[We] formed a committee consisting of all Syriac institutions. All aid flowing through churches, federations and associations will be pooled into the committee,” he said.
An announcement is going to be made in the coming days regarding the sum raised, he said.
“Whether it is a single [Turkish] Lira or a million, the amount raised is irrelevant. It is the purpose that counts. This aid is important to demonstrate Syriac people’s solidarity with the residents of Van,” he said.