My name is Sabri. I live in the United States, I was born in Holland but my father was Turkish and half of my family resides in Turkey. On February 6th, I got the terrible news that a 7.8-level earthquake hit several parts of Turkey and Syria. And specifically, where my entire Turkish family lives, Iskenderun.
The overall earthquake affected 10 provinces of the country. The current death toll (February 11) has passed 25,000 and is still rising with thousands more injured and has left hundreds of thousands homeless, including my family. For them, this happened in the middle of the night at 4:00 AM, and with no time to prepare, they left their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
And now my family in Iskenderun and the surrounding families in that area have been left with very little. One of my family members was able to stay in one small house with 24 people, but currently, they can no longer fit any more people so the rest are either sleeping in cars or are just completely homeless. Items such as water, food, diapers, hygiene products, etc. are extremely difficult to get at the moment and with the ensuing chaos of the entire country, it is slow to resolve in their area.
All the funds will go directly to my family and their surrounding neighbors in Iskenderun, Turkey to help get basic supplies, rebuild, and/or relocate to a safer location. Thank you in advance for any help you provide my family and all of those who have been affected by this terrible disaster. Please see below for the photos my family sent in. We plan to update this page with updates on them as we are able to help.
PHOTOS FROM MY FAMILY IN ISKENDERUN
WHAT ISKENDERUN LOOKED LIKE BEFORE
Update #4 March 22, 2023
I wanted to keep the updates going on here even if the campaign isn't accepting any more donations as I think you all should be informed about the amazing help you have provided to now over 1,000 individuals in Turkey!
Things are starting to turn around and go well for those who were affected. We have disturbed a little over 70% of the funds. The rest is being held onto until we are ready to start rebuilding/fixing a few homes and buildings, which should be soon. One of my cousins in Europe will be traveling to Turkey herself in a few weeks to oversee how everything is going and to make sure all have what they need.
I am currently in the works of an even large update/presentation. Showing the true aftermath of all your generosity and support with pictures of the actual families you have helped. As soon as I have that, I'll be posting it!
Until then, thank you all again. We can't thank you all enough and keep an eye out for the detailed update coming soon.
Update #3 February 22, 2023
I cannot thank you all enough, from the bottom of my heart. My family in Turkey and the surrounding neighbors are in awe of the kindness and generosity.
As many of you are aware, another 6.3-level earthquake struck the exact same area earlier this week. Thankfully, my personal family and all the surrounding neighbors in Iskenderun were not injured but I pray for the safety of all of those affected by this in the other areas of Turkey and Syria. Those who are still in Iskenderun are now redoubling their efforts to not only evacuate themselves but to help finish and make sure they can get everyone out as swiftly and as safely as possible.
As I have mentioned in the earlier update, the money that has been donated is helping with this exact part. All these evacuations are not temporary but permanent so most of these people are leaving behind their entire lives to start over completely in new areas. The money is going to them. To help them rebuild their lives and take care of them. With food, water, clothes, basic hygiene necessities, items for their children, pets, medical items, etc. As well as places to stay, all of this and so much more is being provided through all your generous donations.
With the quake that just hit earlier this week, there is more to sort through but with the support shown here, we will help get them through this terrible time and a chance to rebuild and continue their lives. Once I have some more news I will, of course, share it here and I am hoping to get some pictures very soon showing those being taken care of so you can really see what your efforts are doing for those in Turkey.
Again, thank you all so much. And I will update again soon.
Update #2 February 13, 2023
I wanted to give everyone another update. Again, thank you all so much for all your donations and prayers. The money that has been donated so far will go so incredibly far into helping many people. More than just my family, but all the surrounding families in the area and many more.
The first amount of money has arrived to one of my cousins in Turkey, they are helping make sure that it is being used to help all of those in need in the area. This first amount is being used right now to help with evacuations and rehoming for women, children, and the elderly. The men are staying back in the areas to help with rescue and clean-up efforts.
Also, a full inventory of all the individual families is being worked on. This is so there is less confusion and more organization on who is still missing and who needs what supplies. Once this is done and these families have evacuated, the money will go into helping fulfill their basic needs as well as help these families get successfully back on their feet. For example, water is still hard to come by and is still being rationed. The donations will help immensely with this.
And lastly, sadly many are still missing and many have been found deceased. Those who have died will need a burial service and the money will also go towards helping get those arrangements made.
Again, I cannot express my gratitude enough for all of the help and love that is being shown to all of those that have been affected.
Update #1 - Thank you February 11, 2023
I wanted to write a quick update. The outpour of love and support has been absolutely overwhelming to me and my family. I am in touch with them all throughout the day and they are aware of the incredible help and love that has been shown them by all of you. Again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
The government has ordered an evacuation of the area they are currently located in, Iskenderun. Some have already gone so to Ankara, Turkey. Some are unable to at this time as they do not have the means to yet, but we are working in. Most of them are going to need to completely rebuild their lives as they lost everything so every bit will help immensely.
Of course, the more news and updates I receive, I will post here.
Thank you all again.
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