Residents of Van, eastern Anatolian city hit by earthquake the previous year, have begun collecting humanitarian supplies to be sent to the Syrian in 10 trucks.
Islamic NGOs from Van Rights and Freedoms Platform gathered at breakfast on invitation from IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation and decided to launch an aid campaign in support of Syrian people.
Özgür-Der hosted the breakfast program that was organized by IHH team in the city of Van and particularly local woman volunteers of IHH.
Van inhabitants who know well the hardships of living in tents in snowy and freezing weather showed their support for the Syrian people through an aid campaign.
The city set an example for entire Turkey by launching the campaign even though it still has not recovered from the last earthquake and small businesses are still struggling with economic difficulties.
Delivering the opening speech at the Syria-themed program on behalf of IHH Humanitarian Relief, Ercan Çıplak recalled IHH relief efforts in Van and stated they had initiated an aid campaign to collect 10-truck load of relief materials, and they were conducting the campaign in cooperation with a number of NGOs in Van. In-kind aid to be collected within the campaign will be handed to IHH Van office at the prefabricated settlement. The organizers will especially try to collect such supplies as flour and other food items, blankets, heaters, winter clothing, winter shoes, and other materials needed to fight freezing winter conditions.
IHH executive board member Att. Gülden Sönmez stated in her speech the campaign launched by Van residents was exemplary and should urge entire Turkey to take action. “The humanitarian plight of Syrian people has been eclipsed by political considerations and debates. A serious humanitarian crisis is unfolding both in camps inside Syrian and in those in neighboring countries. The refugees are facing huge problems. ‘We are hungry, thirsty, and cold’ the Syrian people scream. This is the plain truth. Daily massacres of women and children, hundreds of thousands of jailed and missing innocent people, broken families, and thousands of refugees struggling with extreme temperatures in tents are facts of the Syrian crisis. What we have to do is to assist and support refugees inside Syria or in camps. Van inhabitants proved there is much that can be done. IHH is incessantly carrying out relief efforts within Syria and in refugee camps. It is also coordinating the delivery of assistance coming from different parts of the world inside Syria. However, much more is needed as the needs are amounting,” she said. The program ended after question and answer session.