Home World D.C.-area Turkish community launches fundraising effort for quake victims

D.C.-area Turkish community launches fundraising effort for quake victims



Turkish Americans and expatriates from the country who are in the Washington region have begun a fundraising drive for earthquake victims.

Sitki Kazanci, president of the American Turkish Association of Washington D.C., said Tuesday that his organization has raised $30,000 so far while also collecting clothing, blankets, diapers and other items to be flown to Istanbul.

“Honestly, the situation is very, very bad,” Kazanci said, adding that he is trying to find corporate donors. “Thirty thousand is nothing.”

Like many other Turkish Americans, Kazanci said he still has family in the southern part of Turkey that has suffered the worst damage. A sister and her family have been sheltering in their car since early Monday after evacuating their building, he said.

“They have no [internet] connection, no water, no heat, no power,” he said. “They need immediate help. International help.”

Kazanci said his organization has been coordinating with the Turkish embassy to collect donations.

On Monday, the embassy posted a message on its website saying it will collect blankets, clothes and other materials and fly them “in a speedy and prioritized manner” to Turkey, asking donors to store those items in clear bags with an itemized list of their contents.

Non-Turkish groups have also launched fundraising efforts. The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington Monday began collecting monetary donations through its website.

“As a Jewish community, it is our sacred obligation to respond,” Gil Preuss, chief executive of the federation, said in a statement.

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