Nepalese surprised at Turkish teachers staying to help after earthquake

The Turkish Meridian schools in Nepal have offered shelter to the victims of last Saturday's devastating earthquake. (Photo: Cihan, Atıf Ala)
The Turkish Meridian schools in Nepal have offered shelter to the victims of last Saturday's devastating earthquake. (Photo: Cihan, Atıf Ala)


Date posted: April 30, 2015

A group of Nepalese people, who were offered shelter at Meridian Turkish schools in the country after last Saturday’s devastating earthquake in the country, said on Wednesday that they were surprised and thankful that Turkish teachers did not leave after the earthquake occurred, unlike many other non-Nepalese nationals, according to a report by the Cihan news agency.

The Meridian Turkish schools, which have been active in Nepal since 2002, have offered support to the earthquake victims ever since from the first day of the disaster, as the death toll has surpassed 5,000. The schools were founded by entrepreneurs inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

The volunteers from the Turkish schools have searched Kathmandu’s streets with motorcycles to find people affected by the earthquake.

A large number of Kathmandu residents currently sleep in the conference hall of the Turkish school in the Nepalese capital. Sita Ghimire, one of these Nepalese people, told Cihan that he and his family became concerned after many houses were damaged and opted to stay at the Turkish school because it was safer.

Another guest at the school, Suman Das, said he and his family needed a large and safe place to stay. Das said he is grateful to the managers of the school for opening their doors to them.

Sarita Tamang, who said she was at home when the earthquake struck, is among the Nepalese people who saw the Turkish school as a place she could trust to go and be safe.

Fatih Doğan, one of the school’s managers, explained to Cihan that he and other managers feel duty-bound to help the people of Nepal as they are having troubled times. Doğan, who has been teaching Turkish in Nepal for four years now, stated that they are willing to help the earthquake victims as much as they can. According to Doğan, many Nepalese told them that they are surprised to see the Turkish teachers did not leave the country following the earthquake and offered their gratitude to the teachers for staying to help.

Fırat Meço, one of the Turkish teachers, said he is already over his initial fear and along with his colleagues, his only concern now is how to help people in the quake-hit country.

Turkish tourists admit previous bias against Gülen movement

The school’s deputy director Halil Çınar, speaking to Cihan, said the most destruction caused by the earthquake occurred in cities other than Kathmandu. Stressing that the earthquake was extremely devastating, Çınar said: “We are still in shock. We are struggling to get over it.” According to Çınar, more than 30 Turkish tourists were accepted as guests at the school along with the Nepalese. “We tried to cope with this pain together, we shared the food in our kitchen together,” Çınar said.

Murat Özdemir, one of the Turkish tourists who took shelter at the Turkish school, told Cihan: “We are most thankful to them. They have opened their door to us. They cared so much, maybe even more than our relatives could care. Unknowingly, we had come to the heartland of death. But I cannot imagine what condition we would have been in, if it wasn’t for these fellows here. It feels like our home here. These are really nice people. We were biased against these people [affiliated with the Gülen movement]. I have figured out once again that being biased is so wrong. I have now seen that these people are nothing like we had been told. We are so thankful to them. They welcomed us like family and shared everything they have with us.”

Another Turkish tourist, Emrah Doğan, said he was welcomed at the Turkish school beyond their expectations. “This was not like a stranger helping another stranger. Here, there is an incredible authenticity,” he said.

Elaborating on his story, Doğan said he had come across a fellow Turkish group while he was wandering through the temples of Kathmandu by chance before the disaster. “After the earthquake, one considers ways to survive once they get over the initial shock. That is when I got a text message from this group saying: ‘There is a Turkish school here. They have welcomed us. You should come here no matter what.’ We were surprised at first to hear about the presence of a Turkish school in Nepal. But then we found the way to come here somehow. We saw great hospitality here, beyond what we expected. Only a brother can take care of you like this. They did not treat us like victims but like family.”

Doğan added: “These people have become our brothers. They touched my life. We are going to tell the world and everyone we know about how caring and hospitable people they are.”

Another Turkish guest also commented that the charity groups had done better work to help than the Turkish government had. The Turkish schools in Nepal are now working to distribute aid packages to the earthquake’s victims. Teachers and students have packaged aid materials together with Nepalese soldiers in the yard of the Turkish school. The aid is being provided by the Turkish charity Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There), which sent rescue teams to Nepal after the earthquake. Some graduates from the Turkish schools in Nepal have also visited their former schools to participate in the aid work.

Seven of the Turkish guests and a Russian guest at the Turkish school have now joined the aid efforts.

Kimse Yok Mu executive Levent Eyüboğlu told Cihan that 25 tons of aid has been distributed in the region by the charity. The Turkish Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD), GEA (Mother Earth) and the Turkish Search and Rescue Team (AKUT) have also carried out aid efforts in the Nepal earthquake.

Source: Today's Zaman , April 29, 2015


Related News

Senegalese PM Addresses Gulen Movement Conference in Dakar

Abdoul Mbaye* Headmaster of Yavuz Selim Institutes, members of Atlantic Senegal-Turkey Association (ATSA), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, It is a great pleasure for me to join the members of Atlantic Senegal-Turkey Association (ATSA) to welcome the eminent people guest who, with this conference, will enrich the collective reflection on the theme “Diversity and Cohesion […]

Somali education minister praises opening of Turkish school

Somali students on Monday filled the classrooms of the famine-stricken country’s first Turkish high school, which the Turkish charity the Nile Organization established in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Education Minister Ibrahim noted that “cities other than Mogadishu are also seeking to have similar Turkish schools.”

Where is Turkey going? (2)

Gülen movement supports a critical approach as a fundamental aspect of knowledge and faith. Furthermore, it considers science and mathematics to be especially necessary to a devout Muslim fulfilling his religious and civil duties and to improve the economic situation of his family and community.

Erdogan targets Hizmet inspired schools on Africa visit

Turkey’s involvement in Africa feeds into the Turkish ruling party’s “self-perception as the protector of Muslims and Muslim minorities around the world.” There is also the understanding that the existing Gulenist networks in the West are harder to take on because of Turkey’s capability limitations in the West, especially when it comes to influence and imagery problems.

Turkish NGO sends aid to Syrians

Turkish NGO “Kimse Yok Mu” Association sent 150 truck laden aid to Syrians sheltered in southeastern Turkey. NGO official Celal Turkoglu told AA correspondent that they handed out the aid to Syrians who took sanctuary in Turkey but not sheltered in camps, as part of the “Bread and Blanket for Syrians” campaign. He said there […]

Fate of Pak-Turk Schools: Erdogan, Jamaat-e-Islami-backed Maa’rif Foundation?

At the heart of the matter is the question of Maa’rif’s credentials to take over the schools instead of its Pakistani management. Turkey is least known for its standard of education. Moreover, the Erdogan-backed organisation is neither experienced in the education field nor apolitical. The organisation is already scared with allegation of child sexually abuse in Turkey.

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

Turkish Cultural Center Vermont opened it doors at a ceremony held in Burlington

When Iconic Islamic scholar wins prestigious peace award

A solid step in Gulen movement Alevite community dialogue: Mosque-cemevi-soup kitchen project

Gulen, Erdogan and democracy in Turkey

Gülen speaks to Kurdish paper, renews his support for education in mother tongue

Erdoğan’s claims about Gülen stun US Ambassador Ricciardone

Gülen: Associating Hizmet with violent Kobani protests great slander

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News