Dear friends, colleagues, partners and members of the MitOst and zusa communities,
The news of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed thousands in Turkey and Syria has reached us with dismay. Our hearts and minds are with the people hit by the earthquake in the region, as well as with their families, loved ones and communities.
The situation is severe. At the time of writing, more than 15.000 people died in both Turkey and Syria, and tens of thousands are injured, displaced and buried under rubble. We are in touch with members of our community who are either in, or have connections with Turkey and/or Syria, and we hear immense pain and anger. We are also witnessing the resilient efforts from significant amounts of people: individuals and civil society organisations, local and international, in gathering resources and offering support in any way possible.
Turkey has seen devastating earthquakes in its recent history, one in the same region back in 1939, and the 1999 earthquake that hit the North of the country killing more than 17.000 people is remembered vividly today. As many homes and infrastructures are destroyed again, people in the hardest hit region of the earthquake since Monday are facing cold weather, homelessness and a predicted winter storm.
Antakya, where we just made beautiful connections and memories during the VAHA meeting in November has been destroyed to a great extent, and even though it is one of the most severely hit regions, it received very little support so far. Our friends at Mordem Sanat and Wejegeh Amed in Diyarbakır have opened their spaces as shelters and meeting points.
While the municipal administrations in the affected provinces, people across Turkey, and thousands of volunteers are supporting the local populations with the resources they have in hand, or have to create in the face of this devastating crisis, it is not enough. The current economic context of Turkey with its high inflation adds to the severity of the situation which will continue to be ravaging. The situation in Northern Syria is even worse – almost no (international) help has arrived in the affected areas, an area which already struggled before with access to electricity and medical aid. The aftermath of the earthquake will have consequences that will last for years.
We call upon our community, partners, friends, colleagues, to support the different efforts in any way you can: from rescue teams to sheltering spaces, below are links to reliable initiatives currently active.
We stand in solidarity and take action to support people in Turkey and Syria who are going through this immense tragedy.
AHBAP is a voluntary organization currently working actively to provide shelter, food, and medical supplies to those affected by the earthquake in Turkey. Link.
AKUT is entirely a voluntary, non-governmental organization involved in searching, assisting, and rescuing the victims in the affected region in Turkey. You can directly access their donation page in English with the following link.
Turkey Mosaik Foundation has launched the Kahramanmaras Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund to support civil society organisations working on the ground to provide immediate relief and medium to long-term recovery to survivors of the earthquake, link.
AMAN Project is currently prioritizing the needs of LGBTQ+ refugees in Turkey that have been adversely affected by the February 6th earthquakes that have devastated the region, link.
Action Medeor works like an emergency pharmacy, transporting medication, medical equipment or bandages to the crisis area within 24 hours. At the moment also in Turkey, link.
Halkların Köprüsü Derneği is a non-profit charity and solidarity association, founded with a view to strengthening and facilitating solidarity vis-à-vis social-political catastrophes and natural disasters with severe social consequences, link.
Relief Fund for LGBTI+ supports LGBTI+ Turkey citizens and refugees, who in the earthquake area do not receive equally and fairly as others from humanitarian aid, cannot feel safe in public areas, and are deprived of many basic needs, link.
“Solidarity with art” is founded by Tandem Turkey III alumni organization Maumau and they are selling artists’ works online. Donations directly goes to Ahbap and Akut associations, link.
MOLHAM volunteering Team is a nonprofit, charitable organization aimed at supporting internally displaced and refugee Syrians in northern Syria and neighboring countries, link.
The White Helmets are responding to the huge earthquake that hit Syria. As they search for survivors and pull the dead from collapsed buildings, they urgently need support, link.
Kurdish Red Moon Kurdistan’s purpose’ is to carry out its activities in light of universal values and principles, with the aim to bring aid assistance at an international capacity to alleviate suffering in Kurdistan and wherever it may be found, link.
CADUS is a non-profit and independent aid organisation with headquarters in Berlin and regional offices in Northern Iraq and Northeast Syria, link.
Adopt a Revolution (AaR) is a German-Syrian solidarity and human rights organization that was founded in the context of the peaceful uprising in Syria in 2011 and in view of its increasing brutal persecution, link.
medico international has been supporting organizations in the affected areas for years. In Rojava volunteers of the Kurdish Red Crescent have been helping to rescue and care for the injured in Kobane and Aleppo, link.