Social media mobilizes for homeless earthquake victims in Van

October 24, 2011, Monday/ 16:13:00

A campaign that journalist Ahmet Tezcan introduced on his Twitter account to provide accommodation for those who lost their homes to Sunday's earthquake in Van has created a great impact on social media in Turkey, with many people seeking to lend help.

After the earthquake struck the eastern province of Van on Sunday, many campaigns were initiated to help victims. Journalist Tezcan launched the campaign to provide accommodation for people who lost their homes as a result of the earthquake. In the campaign, “Evim evindir Van” (My home is your home Van), people across Turkey who have extra rooms will welcome earthquake victims into their homes.

Following the impact made by the campaign, the İstanbul Governor's Office decided to officially coordinate the campaign in order to avoid any possible deviation from its true aim. People who want to help can reach those in need by calling the İstanbul Governor's Office at 0212 455 5675 and 0212 455 5675 or sending an e-mail to [email protected] at any time of day.

Meanwhile, Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), posted a message to his Twitter account page, saying: “The aid coming from every part of Turkey for the earthquake victims in Van is a sign of brotherhood. Thanks everybody for the aid.”

Examining the earthquake zone with BDP Co-chairwoman Gültan Kışanak, Demirtaş shared his first impressions on Twitter, saying: “We are at the Canikli village of Van, where all the buildings collapsed in the earthquake, even the three-storey school collapsed. Unfortunately, there are 10 dead in the village.”

Demirtaş also said that the first aid has arrived in the region. This aid is a sign of brotherhood, but there are still many things to be done for people in the region. He added that the Van Governor's Office and Municipality and nongovernmental organizations should coordinate the distribution of aid to ensure that donations make their way to every part of the earthquake zone.

İstanbul's Şişli Municipality has sent three trucks of various supplies to Van, and the municipality plans to send much more (about 17 trucks) to the region soon.

Following the departure of the trucks, Şişli Mayor Mustafa Sarıgül said, “Today is a day to be united and help each other.”

Traveling to the earthquake zone in a private plane on Monday, Sarıgül viewed the debris of a collapsed seven-floor building. Sarıgül told reporters that the Şişli Municipality will take 1,000 homeless earthquake victims and accommodate them in İstanbul.

He said the municipality will place these people with families in the Şişli district of İstanbul, adding that the municipality will cover their expenses for one year. Children will be sent to schools in Şişli.

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