Turkish business world mobilizes for earthquake relief efforts

Turkish business world mobilizes for earthquake relief efforts

Turkish business world mobilizes for earthquake relief efforts

The business world has launched efforts to help the victims of the deadly earthquakes that struck the country’s south on Feb. 6.

The companies put all their organizations and equipment in the region into the service of the rescue efforts. In the works carried out in coordination with Türkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), the priority is to deliver the right need to the address with the right organization.

Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the head of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB), said that they are working in coordination with chambers and commodity exchanges in all provinces affected by the earthquake.

“As the business world, we will stand by our nation and our state today as we did yesterday,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said in a social media post after the earthquake.

All business organizations held meetings with an extraordinary agenda throughout the day, and earthquake response roadmaps were determined.

The Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) has established an “Earthquake Support Network.” The “Business for Goals Platform (B4G),” which has been in operation since 2019 in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED) and TÜSİAD, contacted Geneva. It was decided to set out emergency aid troops from Mexico and Japan.

“We have prepared short, medium and long-term disaster response plans,” İrem Oral Kayacık, the platform’s chair, told daily Hürriyet.

“We are working in coordination to prevent the repetitive aids of the business world,” she added.

TÜRKONFED President Süleyman Sönmez said they are mobilizing in the spirit of unity and solidarity after the earthquake, adding that they have entered an intense coordination process with all relevant actors, especially governorships and local administrations.

“In the first stage, we contacted five federations and 44 associations in 10 provinces affected by the earthquakes,” he said.

“We have launched our ‘natural disaster crisis management roadmap’ in order to urgently fulfill all our duties in order to identify and meet the needs, including search and rescue efforts. In this context, our associations continue to work to identify needs. As we have experienced in the past, the economies of disaster areas are seriously affected, and it is difficult for them to recover. For this reason, in the second stage, we will determine the extent of the damage and what needs to be done, and meet with all the actors of the economic life in the region through our federations and associations.”

Mahmut Asmalı, the head of the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD), said the association immediately established a “crisis center.”

Urgent needs requests from branches in the disaster area are collected at the crisis center and forwarded to the competent authorities in coordination, he added.

Jak Eskinazi of the Aegean Exporters’ Associations (EİB) said his organization would keep all projects planned for this year at a minimum and forward all funds to earthquake relief efforts.

“All the topics that we all considered a priority until now have been shelved,” he said in a statement.

“In a situation in which we made a call for international assistance, all our agendas that we, as the business world, have so far prioritized became secondary issues. The size of the geography affected by the earthquake, the fact that it affects millions of people, and the harsh conditions of the winter season require a very coordinated work.”