Turkish charity foundations to help Indonesia

October 05, 2009, Monday/ 17:14:00
Several charity foundations in Turkey including Doctors Worldwide and The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) are preparing to send volunteers and aid to Indonesia, where an earthquake hit causing nearly 600 deaths along with considerable material damage and where thousands of people are still missing.

The project director of Doctors Worldwide, Mehmet Güllüoğlu, said they received some reports on the current situation in Indonesia and have prepared a group of three doctors from several fields to send to the earthquake zone.

Turkish charity foundations' efforts to help Indonesian people who suffered from the tsunami in 2004 have been praised by the international community. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a visit to Indonesia where the tsunami left 170,000 people dead. The Turkish government and civil society groups supported Indonesia by building nearly 30 schools, 4,000 houses, two orphanages and a street, in addition to a large amount of donations.

“We will help our fellow Indonesian nation after this unpleasant earthquake to overcome the damages it caused just like we did in 2004 [after the tsunami],” said the public relations representative of IHH, Salih Bilici, adding that the association's representative in Indonesia said the damage caused by the earthquake has yet to be determined. He stated that they are working on completing the visa procedures of the search-and-rescue team and later they will send another team to organize the allocation of aid materials. “At this point, we are struggling to collect TL 100,000 for Indonesia. With this money, aid materials will be bought according to the needs of the people in earthquake zone,” added Bilici.

Association for Social and Economic Cooperation with Pacific Countries (PASİAD) Secretary General Ersin Karaoğlan told Today's Zaman that PASİAD is providing consultancy services to the organizations that have provided aid to the region. “Since we have numerous contacts and representatives in the region, we share our information with other voluntary organizations to help them,” said Karaoğlan, adding that the association sees no difference among the organizations who ask for advice. “When a Turkey-based foundation helps people in Indonesia, the people do not care about the name of the organization. Rather they think this help comes from Turkey. It is our country, not the foundations, that is important,” he noted.

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