Türkiye Aid Fund
President Skål International Türkiye
Dear Skålleagues, Dear Friends,
Greetings to you all from Türkiye, experiencing the greatest disaster in our country's recent history.
On Monday February 06, at 04:17, an earthquake of a 7.8 Richter scale magnitude hit our people living in 11 provinces in the Southeast of Turkey, an area of approximately 600 km2, affecting a population of 13 million inclusive of children, adults and the elderly.
Subsequently, a second earthquake struck a nearby area on the same day by noon with a magnitude of 7.6 causing more damage. This tragic sequence of events has put our country face to face with a disaster that all people around the world, including the experts on the subject, have witnessed with fear and anxiety. As I am writing this message, strong after shocks continue and are due to last at least for another year.
More than 100,000 buildings, mostly residences, are totally destroyed or severely damaged, leaving millions of inhabitants homeless under severe weather conditions.
From day one, the local and International Aid efforts poured into the area. Over 100 countries in addition to material help, have sent their expert health and rescue teams who have worked tirelessly under difficult conditions. Many lives were saved from the debris but the death toll is expected to rise over the officially announced 45,000 by the end of february. Thousands of innocent infants and children have died and some were rescued but with no parents or family.
The dimension of the tragedy is beyond imagination and recovery will take several years.
It is likely that the socio-economic and socio-psychological chaos that the surviving millions are going through, may also result in a huge wave of migration to other parts of the country as people look for shelter and work.
All the Skålleagues in Türkiye are most grateful and touched by the heartfelt support messages and the generous donations sent to the Aid Fund by Skål International members worldwide.
We are also very grateful to the President and the Executive Committee of Skål International who were with us from day one and for immediately initiating an Aid Campaign. This fund that will greatly contribute to our help and support actions and campaigns, from education to shelter as well as from health to nutrition, is of paramount importance and value.
I also wish to add that we were in the process of founding Skål International Mezapotamia, which covers the provinces exposed to the earthquake, mainly Diyarbakır, Adıyaman, Urfa, Kahramanmaraş, all of them tourism destinations known for their cultural and gastronomic richess. Undoubtedly, the solidarity of Skål International members, adds a greater meaning in supporting the victims of this very area.
In appreciation of the extremely valuable material and moral contributions you have extended us under the umbrella of Skål International, we wish to appeal for your continued support and reiterate our gratitude for your solidarity in anticipation of a future full of hope.
Sincerely in Skål