“Türkiye Tek Yürek” collects 115 billion TL for the eqarthquake

“Türkiye Tek Yürek” campaign has collected donations of 115 billion 146 million 528 thousand Turkish liras and received 9 million 10 thousand SMS messages so far. The Central Bank made the largest donation in the campaign, which is broadcasted on 213 television channels and 562 radios, including TRT1, ATV, FOX, Kanal D, Kanal 7, Show TV, Star TV, and TV8, from domestic and international platforms to collect donations for citizens affected by the earthquakes centered in Kahramanmaraş.

The program titled “Türkiye Tek Yürek” (Turkey as one heart) was moderated by Nihat Hatipoğlu, Pelin Çift, Çağla Şikel, and Tümer Doğru, followed by Nazlı Çelik, Acun Ilıcalı, Didem Arslan Yılmaz, and Deniz Bayramoğlu. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan joined the “Türkiye Tek Yürek Campaign Joint Broadcast” by phone and greeted the followers of the broadcast.

President Erdogan said, “We know the generosity of our nation in such situations, and we have experienced it closely in previous disasters. I have no doubt that our people will once again demonstrate their noble-heartedness with a record-breaking amount today. By reinforcing the current capabilities of our state with aid from both domestic and international sources, we will undoubtedly overcome this burden with Allah’s permission.”

As of 23:35, the donation amount reached 106.3 billion Turkish liras, exceeding 101 billion Turkish liras. The number of sent SMS messages approached 6.4 million. Many business people, artists, politicians, NGO representatives, and bureaucrats from all over the country participated in the campaign.

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey made the highest donation of 30 billion Turkish liras, while Ziraat Bank donated 20 billion Turkish liras, VakıfBank donated 12 billion Turkish liras, Halkbank donated 7 billion Turkish liras, and the Defense Industry Presidency and its affiliated companies donated 3.6 billion Turkish liras. Turkcell donated 3.5 billion Turkish liras, Cengiz Holding donated 2.5 billion Turkish liras, and Türk Telekom, TMSF, Borsa Istanbul Group, and Turkey Insurance each donated 2 billion Turkish liras.

During the second hour of the campaign, THY and Baykar donated 2 billion Turkish liras each, and Ziraat Participation donated 1 billion Turkish liras. Vakıf Katılım, Emlak Katılım, and Emlak Konut each donated 1 billion Turkish liras to the “Türkiye Tek Yürek” campaign.

Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Mustafa Şentop, called in to the broadcast and mentioned that he was in the earthquake region and joined the broadcast from Şanlıurfa. Şentop said, “As long as the state and the people act as one heart, there is nothing we cannot overcome. Last week, I donated three salaries. I am donating one more salary within the scope of this campaign.”

Leader of the Republican People’s Party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, also called in and said, “I want to donate one more salary if possible. I thank you for this campaign and wish you success. May God bless our nation.” Tansu Çiller, a former prime minister, supported the campaign by donating 1 million Turkish liras, emphasizing the great pain experienced.

Former Prime Minister Tansu Ciller also supported the campaign by donating 1 million liras. Emphasizing the great pain that was experienced, Ciller said, “Today, I wanted to speak as a woman and a mother, not as a former prime minister or anything else, completely devoid of all my political identities. The fact that our people can come up with solutions is so impressive and so powerful. With this power, with this unity, I believe, I see, I feel that we will overcome this.”

Meral Akşener, the leader of the Good Party, who joined the broadcast by phone, said, “We are all one, one for all, my husband and I are donating our salaries.”

Thanking everyone who contributed to the campaign, BBP Chairman Destici said, “I had previously stated that I donated one of my salaries. Now, I would like to express here that I am also donating one of my salaries for my wife, 50,000 liras for my children, and 500,000 liras additionally.”

DEVA Party leader Ali Babacan also noted that he and his wife have donated one of their salaries to the aid campaign.

Yusuf Çetin, the deputy patriarch of the Syriac Kadim Community, said that Syriac Community members living in many countries around the world are rushing to help through consulates in their countries.

Çetin, who stated that they donated 1 million 250 thousand liras to the campaign held tonight on behalf of the Istanbul Syriac Kadim Community Foundation, said, “We thank you very much on behalf of Turkey. We wish this contribution we have made to be a balm to wounds. We are all a great Turkey. On behalf of myself and my community, I extend my condolences to the souls of our citizens who have passed away, wish speedy recovery to the wounded, and offer my condolences to their families. May their souls rest in peace. May God protect us from such natural disasters.”

Meanwhile, Ergün Atalay, the president of Türk-İş, donated 20 million liras, Ali Yalçın, the president of Memur-Sen, donated 10 million liras, Mahmut Arslan, the president of HAK-İŞ, donated 10 million liras, and Şadi Yazıcı, the mayor of Tuzla, donated 7 million liras.

On the other hand, Nihat Hatipoglu addressed the citizens during the broadcast and said that zakat and fitr can be sent to Kızılay and AFAD through the campaign before the month of Ramadan.

Great support from the sports community: The President of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), Mehmet Büyükekşi, announced that he donated 1 million liras on his behalf. Büyükekşi, who stated that they donated 20 million liras on the first day as TFF, said, “We added 50 million liras on top of what we collected with our clubs and we are building a container city. Amateur football players are donating the 200,000 liras they collected among themselves. We also sent 10 trucks personally. I am also donating 1 million liras on my behalf.”

Presidents United

The presidents of Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, and Trabzonspor football clubs participated in a joint live broadcast to support a relief campaign. Beşiktaş Club President Ahmet Nur Çebi, Fenerbahçe Club President Ali Koç, Galatasaray Club President Dursun Özbek, and Trabzonspor Club President Ahmet Ağaoğlu supported the phone donation campaign in the studio.

Additionally, Cenk Tosun from Beşiktaş, Altay Bayındır from Fenerbahçe, and Kerem Aktürkoğlu from Galatasaray answered calls in the studio. Trabzonspor footballer Edin Visca expressed that Turkey had never left his country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, alone and said, “We will never forget that. I want to say that everyone is collecting aid in Bosnia. I have been living here for 12 years, and I always say that this is my country. I want to donate 2 million lira to this campaign.”

Faruk Koca, the President of MKE Ankaragücü, donated 10 million lira on behalf of the club, and Göksel Gümüşdağ, the President of İstanbul Başakşehir Football Club, donated 2 million lira. Medipol Başakşehir Coach Emre Belözoğlu donated his entire salary for the year, while former Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç donated 1 million lira on behalf of his family, and former Çaykur Rizespor Club President Hasan Kartal also provided 10 million lira in aid.

In addition, the Adana 1954 FK regional amateur league team donated 200,000 lira, Gostivar club from North Macedonia donated 1,453,000 lira, Ankara Keçiörengücü President Sedat Tahiroğlu donated 500,000 lira, and Karaman FK donated 3 million lira.

Meanwhile, former Galatasaray executive Abdurrahim Albayrak also provided 5 million lira on behalf of Altur Tourism and 2 million lira in aid of his deceased granddaughter, Batuhan Bostancı. Pendikspor captain Erdem Özgenç also donated 500,000 lira.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Ersin Tatar also called in to the campaign. In his video message, Guterres said that Turkey was not alone in the face of one of the greatest natural disasters of all time, and that the UN was working to help. He concluded his message in Turkish, saying “We are with you, Turkey.” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also made calls in support of the relief campaign.

Guterres said, “The UN is with you and working to help you. When I see the images of pain and destruction, I see the people in the places I know very well. I have visited the region many times as the High Commissioner for Refugees and I will never forget the warmth and generosity of the people I have met. Turkey is hosting the largest number of refugees and demonstrating a unique generosity to its Syrian neighbors. Now I call on the whole world to support you, just as you have been supporting those in need for years.” Guterres ended his message with the Turkish expression “We are with you, Turkey.”

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, stating that they had not forgotten what Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did for them in the 2019 earthquake, announced that they donated 1 million euros to the “Turkey Unites” aid campaign on behalf of the Albanian people.

Rama participated in the “Turkey Unites Campaign Joint Broadcast,” which was held with the participation of 213 national and international TV channels and 562 radio stations from Turkey, the TRNC, and Azerbaijan, by phone.

Stating that they were deeply saddened by the tragic incident, Rama reminded that they declared a national mourning on Monday and lowered their flags to half-mast.

Rama stated that they made a call for unity and solidarity in their country and said, “We sent our aid teams and soldiers to do whatever we could to help. We know that we are a small country. We have not forgotten what Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did for us in the 2019 earthquake. We are ready to do our best to support the Turkish people. Thanks to Turkey’s fantastic efforts, I am confident that everything will be successful.”

Saying, “We donate 1 million euros on behalf of the Albanian people,” Rama stated that he knew it was not enough and that much more was needed. He said, “What is important is that our hearts are united, and we do our best.”

Ersin Tatar also stated that various campaigns were organized in the TRNC.

Emphasizing that donations were collected for 1000 container houses in the campaigns, Tatar said, “Our prayers are with Turkey. Tonight, I donate three months of my salary on my behalf. Hopefully, we will heal these wounds together. We are a strong nation, and we are always an inseparable part of Turkey, as we have always been.”

Famous TV series and program faces including Barış Arduç, Berk Oktay, Burak Özçivit, Alişan, Deniz Baysal, Hande Erçel, Engin Akyürek, Esra Erol, Afra Saraçoğlu, Burak Deniz, Alp Navruz, Aslı Enver, Merve Dizdar, Barış Falay, Selahattin Paşalı, Özge Özpirinçci, Uğur Güneş, Murat Yıldırım, Mehmet Özgür, Birkan Sokullu, Cem Öğretir, Eda Ece, Melisa Aslı Pamuk, Serdar Tuncer, Hüsnü Şenlendirici, İsmail Hacıoğlu, Kadir Doğulu and his wife Neslihan Atagül Doğulu, Seda Sayan, Sibel Can, Hasan Can Kaya, Yılmaz Erdoğan, Eser Yenenler, Aras Bulut İynemli, Demet Özdemir, Ezgi Mola, Halit Ergenç were among the names who came to the studio. The famous names on the screen also looked at the phones that came in for donations.

Translate: Cem Cetinguc