Turkish Embassy aid1-1675865756029
In-kind assistance being collected at the Turkish Embassy in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: UAE residents continue to drop off relief items at the Turkish Embassy in Abu Dhabi, which put out a call for in-kind assistance for the earthquake-affected communities in Turkey.

The Embassy has been collecting the aid since yesterday (Tuesday), with the items set to be transported to the 10 provinces in Turkey that have suffered a devastating series of tremors since February 6, Burcu KerimanTuncer, first counsellor at the Embassy, told Gulf News.

“Upon the approval of UAE authorities, we have been collecting a number of items to assist earthquake victims in Turkey. At first, we were only planning to reach out to Turkish expats in the UAE, but we are so grateful for the kindness of expat and Emirati residents, who have helped collect a significant amount to help those affected,” the official said.

The Embassy has been gathering aid items in collaboration with the Turkish Consulate in Dubai.

“We are humbled by the ongoing aid effort by the UAE as well, which has included eight search and rescue teams thus far, and a field hospital that is now on its way with staff and equipment. We would like to extend our immense gratitude to the UAE leadership, the Emirati people, and UAE residents, who have expressed so much solidarity and sympathy at this time,” she added.

Devastating tremors

Southern Turkey and Syria suffered a devastating earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Richter scale in the early hours of the morning on Monday. More than 11,000 people have been killed as a result of the disaster, and millions of others have been left homeless in freezing winter temperatures.

UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ordered the immediate provision of $100 million (Dh367 million) for the relief of those affected. In addition, the UAE launched the Gallant Knights 2 operation to provide humanitarian and medical aid to the two regions.

Collection till Thursday

The Turkish missions in the UAE – the Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate in Dubai – will continue collecting in-kind assistance until 8pm on Thursday (February 9), Tuncer said.

A list of items that can be donated includes winter clothing for adults and children, as well as tents, beds, blankets, sleeping bags, gas cylinders, power banks, flashlights, and generators. The missions have also called on residents to contribute baby formula, diapers, hygiene products, and food boxes.

“We only ask that the fabric items be clean and unused,” Tuncer said.

'Bridges of Goodness'

Following the collection efforts at the Turkish missions, the official urged residents to continue donating in-kind assistance through the Bridges of Goodness initiative, which will continue to collect items for the next two weeks at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and the Dubai Exhibition Centre, at Expo City Dubai. The effort is being organised by the Emirates Red Crescent Authority, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and the Ministry of Community Development.

Residents help

Kausar Jahan Begum, 37, a general practitioner from India, was dropping off bags of aid at the Turkish Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

“A group of families at the Mazyad Compund have collected winter clothing, food items, baby clothing, and blankets. We’ve dropped off two shipments so far, and will drop off more this evening. It’s the little we can do in this time of great need,” Begum said.

Steph Brea, 34, a child-care professional from New Zealand, said some of her friends had already travelled back to Turkey to lend a hand in rescue efforts.

“I just visited Istanbul a short while ago. The scale of the devastation is unbelievable, and when a friend mentioned that the Embassy was collecting aid, I knew I had to contribute. I’ve just brought along some winter clothing, canned food, and baby formula,” she said.

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Financial donations

The Turkish missions have also invited financial assistance through the websites of the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), the Turkish Red Crescent, and the Turkiye Diyanet Foundation.

Where to donate

Turkish Embassy in Abu Dhabi, Turkish Consulate in Dubai till 8pm on February 9

What to donate

• Winter clothing: overcoats, raincoats, boots, sweaters, trousers, gloves, scarfs, beanies, socks, underwear

• Tents

• Beds

• Mattresses

• Blankets

• Sleeping bags

• Gas cylinders

• Gas catalytic stoves, heaters

• Thermos bottles

• Flashlights

• Power banks

• Generators

• Food boxes

• Canned foods

• Baby formula

• Diapers

• Hygiene products for all, and for women