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From local to global: ways to continue helping in Turkey and Syria

An earthquake survivor reacts as rescuers look for victims and other survivors in Hatay, Turkey on Tuesday. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on Monday.
Bulent Kilic
/
AFP via Getty Images
An earthquake survivor reacts as rescuers look for victims and other survivors in Hatay, Turkey on Tuesday. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on Monday.

The effects of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria are still being felt more than a week after the natural disaster took place. The worst natural disaster to hit either country in almost a century has resulted in more than 33,000 deaths, countless crumbled cities, and millions of displaced people. Organizations providing relief warn about losing traction as the disaster fades from the headlines, but there are still plenty of possibilities to help from anywhere. Here’s a list of continued local and global efforts to support.

Donation Tips

Turkey and Syria are still taking physical donations from around the world, with shipping provided at no cost through Turkish Airlines. A list of requested physical items for donation can be found at the Turkish Embassy’s website, and includes blankets, sleeping bags, floor mats for disaster tents, and bed chairs. This list is subject to change.

For monetary donations, it’s good to know that every $1 U.S. dollar is equal to almost ₺19 Turkish lira. To help understand how much you’re donating, an emergency list in Turkey would cost:

  • Milk, 1 Liter: ₺25 ($1.32)
  • Eggs, 15 count: ₺40 ($2.11)
  • Bread loaf: ₺7 ($0.37)
  • Blanket: ₺150-200 ($7.89-$10.53)
  • Emergency tent: ₺700-₺1,500 ($36.84-$78.95)
  • Emergency sleeping bag: ₺300-₺1,000 ($15.79-$52.63)

Prices are collected from a Turkish grocery store, Migros, and online Turkish retail stores.

Places to donate

Local:

The Diyanet Mosque of New Haven is accepting items from the Turkish embassy’s list at 531 Middletown Ave. until the end of the day on Monday. The items are driven from New Haven to the Turkish Consulate in Boston, where they are flown overnight via Turkish Airlines.

Ocak and Mavruk families on Long Island: If you’re looking for an option to donate physical items, the Ocak and Mavruk families are organizing donation packages that are delivered through Turkish Airlines. If you have items you’d like to donate, the families are taking packages at any of their family businesses — the Mavruks’ Hummus Mediterranean restaurants, located in Holbrook, Deer Park, Selden, Woodbury, Lindenhurst, Lynbrook and Ronkonkoma, and the Ocaks’ businesses, two gasoline stations in Deer Park at 1786 Deer Park Ave. and in Freeport, at 300 W. Merrick Rd, as well as the main drop-off location at Eda Designs at 691 Route 109.

The Swasia Charity Foundation is a 501(c)3 that was founded by a small group of Syrian-American business operators in Connecticut and New Jersey in 2012. They offer methods to donate for multiple causes, including the recent earthquake, with direct links to Syrian charity sites as a form of secure, independent donation.

The New York Turkish Consulate is taking donations at their New York location of 344 E 46th Street in New York City. The Consulate asks that materials are on the list of requested items, that any clothing provided must be suitable for winter conditions, and that packages are marked clearly, showing contents and quality. See more from the consulate’s official statement.

The Yale International Students’ Organization, an undergraduate student organization at Yale University, is matching all donations made out to them through Venmo payments. For each dollar donated, another dollar will be given on the organization’s behalf. The funds are split into donations towards AFAD, the country’s official Disaster and Emergency Management sector, AKUT, a voluntary search, assist, and rescue group in the country, and AHBAP, a secure charity foundation that acts as an independent option for donation. You can donate @yaleISO on Venmo.

The University of Connecticut Turkish Student Alliance is working directly with the Turkish Philanthropy Fund’s Kahramanmaraş Earthquake Relief Fund to monitor impact on the communities most affected by the earthquake and send targeted funds to where they are most needed. Their campaign states that donations made will go toward food, fuel, medicine, and other necessities. They also pledge to support longer term efforts through vetted partnership organizations. You can donate on their platform through the Turkish Philanthropy Fund.

Global:

AKUT, a non-government, voluntary search and rescue organization in Turkey, is designated as the top search and rescue group in the country, with local branches across 32 provinces in Turkey. You can make a donation directly through their website by through a direct bank wire, or with a secure transaction using your credit card.

The AHBAP (DUDE) Association is a major vetted independent volunteer and charity organization in Turkey. AHBAP, founded in 2017 by artist Haluk Levent, is one of the most used methods for donations made by those in the country. You can visit their website to make your donation. You can also view businesses throughout Turkey that are providing relief aid themselves, if you’d like to make direct donations directly.

The Syrian-American Council and the American Coalition for Syria, both of which are based in Washington, D.C., are partnering to bring awareness to both Syrian and Turkish citizens’ needs following the earthquake. You can donate to the cause here.

Americares is an American charity organization based in Stamford, Connecticut, that focuses on medicine security and recovery during and after disasters such as that of Syria and Turkey. You can donate to their emergency relief program for Syria and Turkey here.

OXFAM is a global organization committed to combating inequality, poverty, and injustice. Oxfam America is a vetted charity organization. The organization is still mounting their response, but you can donate to their emergency relief program for Syria and Turkey here.

Eda Uzunlar is WSHU's Poynter Fellow for Media and Journalism.