The Turkish community across the UK has come together to support people affected by powerful earthquakes that hit southern Turkiye on Monday, collecting 10 tons of aid material in one day to send to the country, Anadolu News Agency reports.
A total of 35 Turkish associations in the UK, on Monday, collected aid material and winter supplies for the people affected by the devastating quakes.
“We are proud of our community that collected donations and aid within five or six hours,” said Umit Yalcin, Turkiye’s ambassador to London.
“Everyone was struggling to help here, and this was a morale booster in such difficult days,” he added.
Yalcin said Turkish Airlines will carry the relief aid free of charge. “We do not want any of our people to feel forsaken. This aid provides morale and support.”
He also thanked the UK for sending immediate support to Turkiye, including a team of 76 search and rescue specialists, equipment and rescue dogs.
Erdal Yetimova, the UK head of the Union of International Democrats, which organised the aid, said: “In the first stage, a total of 10 tons will be delivered to Turkiye by a Turkish Airlines plane. Then the aid collected from Luton, Leicester, Swindon and Bristol will be sent to the country by the end of the week.”
Similarly, the Turkish community in the Netherlands gathered to show solidarity for those who were affected by the quakes.
Vast amount of relief material, including winter clothes, blankets and heating devices which were collected in the Turkish community’s mosques and warehouses are already heading to Turkiye.
At least 3,549 people were killed and 22,168 others injured in 10 provinces of Turkiye after two massive earthquakes jolted the southern part of the country on Monday, according to the figures announced on Tuesday noon.
Early Monday morning, a 7.7 magnitude tremor struck the Pazarcik district of Kahramanmaras province, then about nine hours later, a 7.6 magnitude quake centred in Kahramanmaras’s Elbistan district rocked the region, affecting several other provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa.
The earthquake was also felt in several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon.