Turkish aid
Turkish diplomatic missions in the UAE say that residents response to provide provide relief goods for the quake victims have been overwhelming. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Residents can continue to support earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria even after aid collection efforts by UAE-based Turkish missions end on Thursday evening, mission officials have said.

The aid collected thus far by the Turkish Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the Consulate General of Turkiye in Dubai, and other Turkish organisations in the UAE, is meanwhile being shipped to 10 affected Turkish provinces, with at least 15 trucks sent by air by Thursday afternoon.

“This is an ongoing effort, so more shipments are on their way. Our staff are working tirelessly at the warehouse to package and prepare the items,” Fatma Nilgun, president at the Turkish Business Council — Dubai and the Northern Emirate, told Gulf News. The Council is working in tandem with the Turkish missions to support the aid effort.

Major disaster

A devastating earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Richter scale rocked Southern Turkiye and Syria in the early hours of the morning on Monday. More than 21,000 people have been reported killed in the disaster thus far, and thousands of others remain buried under the rubble or missing amid freezing winter temperatures.

UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ordered the immediate provision of $100 million (Dh367 million) relief for the affected. In addition, the UAE launched the Gallant Knights 2 operation to provide humanitarian and medical aid to the two regions, with the Turkish Ambassador to the UAE, Tugay Tuncer, visiting the Al Reef Military Airport to be briefed about the operation.

Bridges of Good

Once Turkish missions conclude their collection efforts in the UAE, good Samaritans can donate aid to victims in Turkiye and Syria through the Emirates Red Crescent Authority’s Bridges of Good initiative, which will collect in-kind items and cash for two weeks.

The effort, 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, will collect items at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and the Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo City Dubai. The effort is being

Turkish aid Abu Dhabi
The aid collected by the Turkish Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the Consulate General of Turkiye in Dubai, and other Turkish organisations in the UAE, is being shipped to 10 affected Turkish provinces. Image Credit: Supplied

Massive response

“We have been overwhelmed thus far by the response to our call for aid and assistance. Many residents have not only delivered aid items, but have also stayed to pack and categorise them. We would like to thank them all,” said Burcu Keriman Tuncer, deputy head of mission at the Turkish Embassy.

Originally intended to last only for two days until Wednesday evening, the collection period was extended till Thursday in order to accommodate the “overwhelming response” by UAE residents, she said.

“After this effort ends, we would call on residents to send any assistance through the Bridges of Good initiative announced by Emirati authorities,” Tuncer added.

What to donate

Turkish missions have thus far invited financial assistance through the websites of the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), the Turkish Red Crescent, and the Turkiye Diyanet Foundation. The AFAD, which is coordinating all aid efforts and emergency responses in Turkiye, has also shared a list of in-kind items that can be donated, including winter clothing for adults and children, tents, beds, blankets, sleeping bags, gas cylinders, power banks, flashlights, and generators. The has also called for contributions of baby formula, diapers, hygiene products, and food boxes.