Earthquake in Turkey: Diaspora in Germany helps

Earthquake in Turkey: Diaspora in Germany helps

Dlike earthquake in Turkey has shaken all of Germany – but especially those who have relatives in the disaster area. Donations for victims of the earthquake in Turkey are being collected in dozens of cities in Germany. People bring tent stoves, flashlights, baby diapers, fleece blankets, but also hand warmers. One of the many collection points was organized by the German-Turkish nursing service Dosteli in Berlin.

People stood on the street to hand over baby food, diapers and bandages, reports a helper. Other helpers also speak of a gigantic rush. The team sorted, packed and loaded clothes and toiletries all night into trucks. “Almost the entire Turkish diaspora in Berlin was there.”

The helpers organized themselves via calls on social media. From the collection points, the Donate brought to the affected regions by truck and plane. At the request of the FAZ, the Turkish airline Turkish Airlines confirmed that it was delivering donations from 14 countries to the Turkish crisis areas, Germany being one of them.

Helpers have to improvise

Kübra Oguz also works at one of the collection points in Berlin. “A lot of people come and hand in plastic bags full of clothes,” she says. Oguz is a volunteer at Puduhepa eV, an initiative founded by Turkish migrant women. Everyone is focused on the matter, she says, even though things are still somewhat unstructured. The rush is just so great that the helpers often have to improvise. According to Oguz, the Turkish community in Germany is well connected via social media – “and everyone wants to help”. So that this can be done in a targeted manner, she recommends donating money. This could then be used to buy groceries, hygiene items or shoes as required.

This is also one of the things that Esmam Altas explains to callers who contact the Islamic aid organization Hasene International eV. The 15-year-old student was suspended from class for a day to help. For them, this is now more important than school. Although she is relieved that her relatives are in the Turkey are not affected, but she takes the situation with her. The disaster also evokes images of the massive 1999 earthquake.

Ali Mete, Secretary General of the Milli Görüs Islamic Community (IGMG), says the same thing. “My wife was buried for hours at the time and lost her mother and three siblings. That was in 1999 in Kocaeli. Then memories come up. I don’t think it’s any different for many.” His organization wants to support those affected not only with donations, but also with pastoral care. On Friday there will be a prayer for the dead in the IGMG mosques.

“In general, I see a great willingness to help, not only in the Turkish community,” says Gökay Sofuoglu, chairman of the Turkish community in Germany. Companies, associations, neighbors wanted to help. In the meantime, however, there are also many own initiatives by those affected whose relatives died in the earthquake in Turkey.

Gökay also emphasizes that the willingness to donate is not the problem, but the coordination. In addition, for Sofuoglu it is also about the long-term nature of the support. “Many lost their livelihoods in the earthquake, they need permanent help.” The willingness to help must therefore continue. Sofuoglu says: “Unfortunately, sometimes such crises are needed to see the opportunity for the community.”

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