Turkey mobilizes to help earthquake victims
Turks are mobilizing to help the victims of last week’s devastating earthquake in the western province of İzmir that killed more than 100 people and left many others homeless.
People in other provinces of the country have been sending aid, such as food, clothes, cleaning supplies, baby formulas and diapers. Those goods and materials destined for the victims are piled in an ice rink in the Bornova district of İzmir.
Some 250 volunteers are working around the clock for the distribution of aid.
Aid is pouring in from the provinces across the country, said Zeki Kapı, who is in charge of the center set up at the ice rink.
“We are mostly receiving food and hygiene materials. We are paying the utmost attention to the anti-virus measures when preparing the aid packages. The people of İzmir and the entire country are in solidarity. Everyone here is a volunteer,” Kapı told Demirören News Agency.
People are turning up in numbers to help relief efforts, according to Ezgi Aktaş, who is a volunteer working at the ice rink.
“I arrived here in the morning three days ago. I did not sleep over the night as I am working hard to make sure that people are supplied with aid. A five-year-old girl came here yesterday and donated her toys. It was very touching,” she said.
Volunteers are also on the streets of İzmir trying to help the earthquake victims.
The government and people stood together to alleviate the grief of the victims, Mustafa Demirkan, a 50-year-old İzmir resident and taxi driver, told Anadolu Agency.
“We prepare hot meals with our own means for 100 people. We set up a bench in the public garden and try to reach earthquake victims in their tents,” Demirkan said.
Restaurant owner Onur Elmalı said he had distributed a thousand food packets to victims staying at local parks since the earthquake occured on Friday.
Explaining that they prepared the food and drink packs in their restaurant, Elmali said: “We’ll continue to do our best.”