Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: donations of goods intentionally burned

Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: donations of goods intentionally burned

After the earthquake, a supermarket in North Rhine-Westphalia collected relief supplies. Unknown people burned them. State security is investigating.

Clothing collection in bags

Collection point for donations for the earthquake areas, here at the Turkish community in Hanover Photo: Ulrich Stamm/imago

BERLIN taz | In the North Rhine-Westphalian town of Marl in the Ruhr area, strangers made donations in kind over the weekend for victims of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria burned. A supermarket had called for a fundraiser and, together with helpers, collected things such as food, clothing and blankets for four days.

They left some unsorted donations in the parking lot on Saturday evening because the warehouse was full; they should be sorted on Monday. A surveillance camera then filmed shortly after midnight how strangers entered the parking lot, started a fire and ripped a Turkey flag from a wall and threw it into the fire.

About a fifth of the donations in kind were destroyed in the fire. Vijay Raj, owner of the Ani Markt supermarket, is desperate: “We wanted something good for the victimsdo for children in Turkey, the action didn’t hang around the big bell and now this. Who does something like that?”

The timing seems suspicious

The background to the crime is not yet known. A private act of revenge seems possible. Another shopping center in Essen, which Raj also owns, was broken into on Monday night. While he has no concrete guess, Raj is suspicious of the timing. The Essen store is almost empty and closed after unknown people vandalized it in November.

“First the arson at Ani Markt, now this burglary. Why is this happening now? Everyone knows that there is nothing to buy in the Essen shopping center. It is clear there that the shop is closed. ”The police only say that they are aware of both cases and that a possible connection is currently being examined. Nevertheless, the state security was also turned on. This usually happens when the authorities suspect a politically motivated crime, in this case because of the burned Turkey flag, among other things.

No suspects have been arrested so far. Raj himself has launched a private call for information on the perpetrators on social networks and promised a reward of 5,000 euros. Now, according to him, a woman has reported who will give the police a suspicious vehicle and license plate number.

20,000 euros in damage

The Ani Markt and its helpers initially collected donations in kind for several days. Several videos illustrate the fundraiser on the store’s Instagram channel. They show numerous people packing, loading and delivering boxes, suitcases and sacks, sometimes even after sunset.

The highlight of the campaign was scheduled for Saturday, there was a flea market and it was announced that 20 percent of the supermarket’s daily turnover would be donated. In a video after the fire, tears flow again, a donor who has family in Turkey himself can not believe it.

The police estimate the damage at 20,000 euros. Raj himself says that this only covers the damage to the warehouse, the goods in the warehouse and the burned donations in kind would come on top of that. Nevertheless, the campaign raised a total of 15,000 euros and three 40-ton truckloads of donations in kind.

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