Turkiye/Syria Earthquake Initiative

Turkish Cypriot Community Association, Cyprus Islamic Association, Turkish Police Association, HIS Church, and Arsenal Foundation

On 6 February 2023, eastern Turkey and northern Syrian were hit by the most powerful earthquake in the region for over 80 years. It was quickly followed by a further earthquake and hundreds of aftershocks. By the end of February 59,000 deaths were confirmed and an estimated 14 million people were affected by widespread damage, in an area the size of Germany.

In the UK, which is home to the third largest Turkish Speaking population outside of Türkiye, many charities under the umbrella of the Türkiye Earthquake Initiative, came together and within hours had established 18 collection points for much-needed aid, a plan was formulated for funds to be forwarded to the affected area, medical supplies were sourced for a UK emergency medical team which travelled to Karamaras. Within a week 165 volunteers were handling donations. 32 groups were co-ordinating the collection of aid from a local medical surgery through to Arsenal Foundation, the latter sourcing 1500 sleeping bags. By the end of February eight freight containers of aid had been transported, 35 air containers of aid were dispatched, bereavement counselling was being held, support schemes to connect families operating, and a community rebuild partnership was well underway.