Turkish and Syrian earthquake – how can we help

Many of you asked me how can you help people who lost their homes and some of them also their loved ones. I have been talking with quite some people from the food scene, as well as a lady I met through the instagram page of my kittens. The lady from Hatay, Ezgi, (this is her cat, who is now luckily safe with a part of her family in Ankara – you can contact Ezgi through the cat’s IG) has also lost her home but is staying in Hatay to help. Most of the people, Ezgi (who is a lawyer) included, agree that the charities proposed by Cemre and Mehmet are the best ones, so here I am sharing their message:

“Dear friends,

Many of you in Turkey and around the world are doing your best to help. Some are cooking, some are setting up tents, and some are treating the wounded, both physically and mentally. Some are on-site, while some are in other regions helping in coordinating efforts, large or small. Everyone is trying to help in the best way they can. Some show their support through social media, some prefer to do it quietly. All are true heroes! (Except for those who are turning it into a constant social media frenzy, which in a situation like this does more harm than good!) 

Over 20.000 dead and the number keeps rising. 13-14 million people have been directly impacted, so everyone else in the country is also deeply affected. People are sending everything they can. They are donating the food they preserved for themselves for the winter, kids are donating their saved-up allowances, people are opening up their homes and hotels around the country have opened their doors to host the victims… The efforts are widespread and from the heart, as they need to be in a situation such as this.

We get many calls and messages from friends in the food world and beyond asking how they can help. Chefs from around the world have asked if they can come and cook for those in need. Friends have donated or pledged to donate generously. We are very very grateful! WAYS TO HELP WILL CHANGE WITH TIME BUT RIGHt NOW THE BEST WAY TO HELP IS THROUGH CONTINUED SUPPORT IN DONATIONS TO TRUSTWORTHY ORGANIZATIONS. (We’ll keep on sharing their information in stories.) 

In such a time of disaster, the support from around Turkey and the world is truly heartwarming. Thank you!!”

Just now received also a message from Maksut Askar, the chef from Istanbul, whose family is from Hatay. I actually visited Hatay with him a few years ago. He says: “Dear Andreja, I am sorry for my silence. Have been in my home town since the earthquake. 3/4th of the city is collapsed. Created an initiative of chefs and restaurateurs to build up a big production kitchen to cook for people in need. We preferred going silent on social media and focusing on cooking for more and more people. We all are ok, thank you for your support. Lots of love from my once beautiful city.”


The best charities for donation are:


AHBAP, a charity created by the Anatolian rock singer Haluk Levent as it acts faster and more effectively than many others. Here is how you can help: https://ahbap.org/disasters-turkey

Another option is the World Central Kitchen which provides food to people who remained without homes https://donate.wck.org/give/417669/#!/donation/checkout.

There is also Unicef which will help in Turkey and Syria: https://www.unicef.org/emergencies/Syria-Turkiye-earthquake

And for Syria, there are White Hamlets as well: https://www.whitehelmets.org/en/

Another reliable charity for Turkey is Turkey Mozaik: https://turkeymozaik.org.uk


In the text above the charities, I have also tagged people in Turkey who I know you can trust, if you want to contact the people who can help directly (some people contacted me saying they prefer to give money directly instead of giving it to charities). Feel free to get in touch with those people.


Thanks to each of you who will help in the best way you can.


Photo: Reddit

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