Turkey earthquake: Luton volunteer applauds UK response




  • In Business
  • 2023-02-08 06:05:17Z
  • By BBC
A woman was pulled from the rubble on Tuesday in Hatay, the worst-hit province in Turkey
A woman was pulled from the rubble on Tuesday in Hatay, the worst-hit province in Turkey  

Turkish people in the UK have applauded their fundraising compatriots who have "swarmed" together following the devastating earthquake.

More than 6,300 people have been killed in southern Turkey and northern Syria since the first 7.8-magnitude quake struck near Gaziantep.

About £750,000 was raised in one day via JustGiving for response efforts.

"Turkish citizens in the UK are just amazing," said Atilla Ustun, of the British Turkish Association in Luton.

"I think it's just a human reaction in every sort of disaster around the world. Unfortunately it has happened in the south east of Turkey.

"It is very emotional when this sort of thing happens."

'Positive'

Mr Ustun, who is also chair of the Luton Turkish Community Association, said his organisation had helped raise about £20,000 in his town alone.

The 55-year-old, who spent the first five years of his life in Turkey, spoke to the PA news agency from Heathrow Airport while he loaded a Turkish Airlines cargo plane with more than 300 boxes of donated clothing, medical supplies and aid for babies.

London-based banker Ediz Karahasanoglu, 33, also raised more than £25,000 in a day via GoFundMe for local and governmental organisations in Turkey.

"The support has exceeded my expectations," said Mr Karahasanoglu, who grew up in Turkey and has been in London for 10 years.

"It has been very, very positive."

Map showing the location of the two earthquakes in Turkey
Map showing the location of the two earthquakes in Turkey  

The White Helmets in Syria, the UK-Med charity, The British Red Cross, ActionAid and Oxfam are all fundraising or providing support on the ground.

The UK government was due to send a team of 76 search and rescue specialists to Turkey to help search for survivors.

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