|President’s Message about the Earthquake Help Campaign|
On Sunday, October 23, 2011 a strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 hit the eastern part of Turkey. The epicenter of the earthquake was in the province of Van, impacting the provincial capital Van, and nearby towns. The biggest impact was in Ercis a town with a population of around 75 thousand.
Right after the earthquake happened, the initial news was that it only impacted a few dozen buildings. However, as time passed, we learnt that the reality was far more disastrous than that. In fact, as of Thursday, October twenty seven, 576 people were killed, 2.608 people were injured, and 187 people are rescued.
In addition, thousands of people lost their homes. Thousands of buildings have collapsed and many have been damaged. According to Disaster and Emergence Management Presidency, experts have investigated 7069 buildings as of 10 a.m. October 27 and reported that 3713 buildings with 5270 homes could not be used.
They are continuing their investigations.
In Southwest America region, four of our friends have been affected by the disaster. One of our friends lost six relatives. Another one lost one relative. Another friend in Lubbock also lost a relative. Additionally, the parents of one friend lost their homes in the earthquake.
Since the earthquake happened, we have been receiving emails, phone calls, voice messages expressing condolences in all our branches and most of the friends have been asking what they can do to help ease the pain of the people impacted by the earthquake. As Turkish-Americans, we truly appreciate your sincere support and efforts to help the victims through generous donations that made us feel united. As most of our friends have asked what they can do, we are encouraging everyone to help those people in need by providing financial aid.
As a friend, we are asking you to contribute to the aid campaign. These contributions may be in the form of monetary contribution or sharing this campaign information with your friends, posting it on your websites, sending it as emails or sharing on social media.
As Turkish-American community, we felt the pain of all those victims of the disasters happening all around the world. We launched aid campaigns right after the disasters regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. Some of the campaigns we launched were Haiti earthquake, Pakistan floods, Israel forest fires, Japan tsunami, Somalia drought, tornado and floods in southern states and Texas forest fire. We delivered checks or food aid to officials or people after these campaigns. We have always felt the support of our friends like you behind us.
Now it is time to be united to help Turkey!
Mehmet Okumus, President/CEO