Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There), a Turkish charity, brought together a number of donors and special guests on Saturday to thank them for their support to famine-stricken Somalia and Turkey's earthquake-hit province of Van.
Kimse Yok Mu, which has organized a number of fundraising campaigns and aid initiatives for Somalia and Van, expressed its appreciation on Saturday to those who had made such a large outpouring of humanitarian support possible at the Haliç Congress Center along İstanbul's historic Golden Horn.
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) İstanbul deputy Hakan Şükür, pop star Kayahan, journalist and writer Ertuğrul Özkök, Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) President Rızanur Meral and radio show host Bedirhan Gökçe were among the evening's participants. Well-known radio show host Mehmet Akbay served as the master of ceremonies for the evening.
Özkök, in his address, said the Turkish public had not always been so sensitive to and forthcoming in supporting humanitarian efforts. It was through charity organizations like Kimse Yok Mu, he pressed, that such a shift in social mentality has been able to take place. Former national football player Şükür also thanked Kimse Yok Mu officials for their efforts.
Somali student Ahmed Muhammed Ali, who aspires to be an engineer, told the crowd he is studying in Turkey with a scholarship from Kimse Yok Mu and thanked the people of Turkey for their support.
Kimse Yok Mu has thus far brought 350 Somali students to Turkey for an education, regularly sent medical practitioners to the region, organized and distributed food and housing aid and is currently renovating a hospital in Somalia.
Turkey has sent $365 million (TL 640 million) in cash and aid in kind to Somalia over the past year, according to the Prime Ministry's Emergency and Disaster Management Directorate (AFAD).