Sunday, April 21, 2024

More donations please, as we embark on a Turkey/Syria Earthquake Aid Road-Trip

Antakya in Hatay, Turkey shows the enormous task of clearing the stricken buildings on February 16th, 2023: © Jasminko Ibrakovic.

On the Turkey-Syria border, Monday morning 6th February (4.17am local time), an earthquake of 7.8 struck and its tremor could be felt as far afield as Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the Palestinian territories.

A second quake, which recorded a magnitude of 7.5, struck just 9 hours later. The worst hit provinces lost many buildings, but also lost most of the infrastructure for Police, Fire and rescue services, hospitals and schools, so the residents were very much on their own.

More than a month later, removal of rubble from collapsed buildings is now underway on a massive scale, and amongst the rumble of over 11,000 aftershocks large heavyweight trucks remove the rubble. Former residents that are able – wait for their buildings to be cleared hoping to salvage any of their belongings, collapsed banks are under guard by staff and the military to see if any safe’s survived and money can be salvaged.

First Appeal
Originally, we (The Accapella Bar and The Hockley Flyer) asked for clothes, especially warm winter ones and the JQ responded brilliantly for aid, and those clothes reached Turkey a while ago. Even if only one life was saved from the bitter cold at the time and we brought a little comfort to many more it was worth it!

Please no more clothes for now – according to the Turkish Embassy so many countries have supplied clothes etc they are totally overloaded, and it’s a similar story in the UK – the clothing collection points are full to the brim of clothing. When this changes we will do another clothing collection but NOT until we know the clothing can reach Turkey.

Second Appeal
However, this is a disaster that will need aid of all sorts for a long time, and The Hockley Flyer is raising funds in conjunction with the Acapella Bar at 50 Frederick Street for a journey to Turkey where we will be purchasing supplies and taking them ourselves into the 10 provinces so seriously damaged by the Earthquakes.

I have personally been asked to go but sadly not able to although feel I can probably help more from here. The trip is just under a month long starting around the first week of April 2023.)

Our plans are to fly to Turkey (Airline tickets now purchased). There we will hire a suitable vehicle to take essential supplies to those in most need by meeting them and asking and also to visit many make-shift schools and give a little joy to the children so badly affected by this massive disaster.

Obviously, we can’t help everyone, but if we can help some of the worst off it will be worthwhile.

We would like to say a big thank you to @thefuelstore ltd. They have given us a £100 Fuel Voucher towards the transportation costs of the Turkey/Syria Earthquake Appeal Donations. We are very grateful and this will be put to good use.

Help so far Second Appeal!
Fuelstore has donated a £100 with a pre-paid fuel credit card and the vehicle hire company in Turkey said we were limited in mileage but since explaining what we were going to do have increased our mileage on the rental by such an amount we should be able to drive in and out of all 10 provinces to places where essential supplies are still readily available to purchase even if that involves many miles of travel to bring supplies back to the badly hit zones. This was arranged by our contacts in Turkey.

On Friday 24th February the Acapella bar held a fund-raising event and raised £2,269, plus donations into a bottle on the bar.

We will also be looking at supplying aid to Syria from Turkey but will have to work with those at the border with better knowledge than us.

Special Report by Mark Haddleton

Please donate on web site:


Facts and Figures for Turkey: as of March 10th, 2023

  • Over 49,000 people dead because of the Earthquakes.
  • Over 108,000 people injured.
  • Over 227,000 buildings collapsed or so severely damaged will or presently being demolished.
  • Over 11,000 aftershocks, including two large ones now classified as earthquakes in their own right. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake and a second measuring 5.8 hit Turkey’s southern province of Hatay, which killed 6 people and injured another 600 two weeks after the first ones.
  • 203 people arrested as suspects over the collapse of so many buildings.
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