Date posted: December 25, 2012
İPEK ÜZÜM, İSTANBUL
Turkish aid organizations have launched a joint large-scale aid campaign to provide food and shelter from the cold to Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey to escape from the intensifying violence in their country.
Syrian refugees in Turkey, whose number has reached 132,920 according to a written statement recently released by the Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD), are struggling with harsh weather conditions with the arrival of winter. Syrian refugees have been suffering from a lack of hot food and clothes and blankets that can protect them against the freezing temperatures.
Numerous Turkish aid foundations, charity organizations, nongovernmental organizations and associations, including the Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There) charity foundation and the Cansuyu Aid and Solidarity Association, have launched a campaign with the slogan “Winter comes… Bread and blanket for Syria,” which aims to collect aid for Syrian refugees both in Turkey and around the world. They have set up a website, www.breadforsyria.com, in Turkish, English and Arabic, which provides information, posters and videos about the aid campaign.
Kimse Yok Mu, one of the organizations behind the aid campaign, has been providing a substantial amount of aid to the Syrian refugees. Speaking to Today’s Zaman, Kimse Yok Mu Chairman Ünal Öztürk stated that the donations collected to help the Syrian refugees in Turkey have reached a total of TL 12.5 million thus far. He said that Kimse Yok Mu has never abandoned the Syrian refugees who were left to their fates, adding that despite all their efforts, the problems that the refugees are facing are ongoing. The refugees are now suffering from extreme cold and a lack of food. Öztürk said the Syrian refugees are most in need of flour to make bread, basic food supplies, blankets for the freezing cold and medicine, adding that the risk of a food crisis was foreseeable in the future if the necessary aid is not provided as soon as possible.
Reminding that most of the refugees are children and women, Öztürk said that they are awaiting support and donations from charitable people to help these needy people.
The Gaziantep office of Kimse Yok Mu launched an aid campaign for Syrian refugees on Dec. 24 in cooperation with the Gaziantep Free Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (HÜRSİAD) to provide food and clothing to the refugees. Speaking to the Cihan news agency, HÜRSİAD Board Chairman İlker Hasırcı said that they aim to mobilize people to help the Syrian refugees who are struggling with serious problems in the refugee camps that were established for them in the southeastern provinces. “Giving a helping hand to those who are suffering is a human duty of all of us. We are organizing the aid campaign with cooperation with Kimse Yok Mu. We will provide stoves, carpets, blankets, shoes and dry legumes to Syrian refugees. People can also donate their second-hand clothes to Kimse Yok Mu to be given to the refugees,” Hasırcı noted.
Meanwhile, the Şanlıurfa office of Kimse Yok Mu in cooperation with the Şanlıurfa Governor’s Office provided food, clothing, blankets and cleaning supplies to 200 Syrian families living in the town of Akçakale on Dec. 21.
Source: Today’s Zaman 24 December 2012