Turkey earthquake: London community fundraising for emergency relief

Two major earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria on Monday, February 6, 2023.

Turkish community centres in London have come together to help raise funds for earthquake victims.

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and northern Syria early on Monday (February 6), killing more than 1,900 people. The quake was centred in the town of Pazarcik in Kahramanmaras province about 60 miles from the Syrian border outside the city of Gaziantep, a major Turkish provincial capital.

A second earthquake, with a 7.5 magnitude, hit central Turkey at around 1.30pm local time (10.30am GMT), striking the Elbistan district of Turkey’s Kahramanmaras province, around 80 miles directly north of Gaziantep.

Orhan, 53, a representative of Day-Mer Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre in Hackney, told LondonWorld: “Community organisations are coming together this afternoon to discuss what can be done from London and what’s the best way to support people affected by the earthquake.

“Then our members’ management committee will gather this evening to discuss what has been suggested by the community organisations and what are the appeals from Turkey.”

Gullay Dalkilic, 46, the general secretary at the British Alevi Federation, said a crisis centre has been set up at its Enfield Headquarters.

She said: “We’re organising monetary help to go out at the moment the reason being that anything else we send out is going to take a while, and border control, we don’t know how it’s going to be.”

Today at the Alevi Foundation a number of chairs for Turkish community centres across London are meeting to discuss the best plan of action both locally and in the areas affected by the quake.

Gullay said: “We’ve got our connections with all our centres in Turkey, making sure that people have got somewhere to be out of the winter weather with hot food and drinks.”

Transport is the main barrier to sending emergency items or a team of volunteers to help victims on the ground.

“We have a team that does want to go however we been told at present that flights aren’t going readily in and out of Turkey due to the earthquake situation,” said Gullay.

The focus for now is to advertise for financial aid and gather donations, along with European counterparts, to send to centres in Turkey.

Approximately 20 Turkish community centres are based in London.

Visit the British Alevi Federation’s Instagram account for more on the emergency appeal.