Turkey-Syria earthquake: Man who lost nine relatives helps organise aid as UK community groups inundated with supplies | UK News

A man helping sort out relief supplies for the Turkey earthquake says 9 of his relatives have died in the disaster but has praised the community’s response – as UK groups rush campaign to collect survivors.

Some volunteers also spoke of people who were left in tears after receiving messages of loved ones passing away as they packed up to send to the disaster area.

In Leicester, Sefa Demirci was among those who helped deliver supplies outside a Turkish community center that has received hundreds of donations from across the city and across the Midlands.

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He told Sky News on Friday that he had just found out the ninth member of his family had died in the earthquake.

“One of my cousins, I heard the bad news about two hours ago – he was also just found dead. It’s horrible, I can’t put into words,” Mr Demirci said.

His hometown has been devastated but he says his mother survived and has now returned to the hospital to help the injured.

Despite his loss, he said he was inspired by how the locals reacted.

Mr Demirci said: “We are very fortunate that the Leicester community has come together and donated so much.

“We are truly grateful for all that the community has done for us.”

Volunteers are hoping their rented van will arrive in the city of Adana in four days – after a journey of about 2,500 miles.

Community support efforts come as nearly £33m was raised from the UK Disaster Emergency Committee’s appeal on day one – with James Bond star Daniel Craig standing by a word. televised call.

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‘I drank my own urine to survive’

More than 22,000 people are now believed to have died after second earthquake press parts of Turkey And Syria.

In hopes of finding any more survivors currently far away, the focus is on helping the tens of thousands of people currently homeless.

At a fabric business in Tottenham, north London, the goal of sending 1,000 blankets was increased to 10,000 after a huge amount of donations.

Solomon Tangy closed normal operations at his barn after Evren Keser contacted him and the local Jewish community.

“There’s no need to think twice – it has to be done,” Mr. Tangy said.

“We were here from yesterday, seven in the morning until 11:30 or 12 at night, with 30 or 40 other volunteers coming to help.”

The production line of the fabric company has been operating at full capacity
Solomon Tangy (right) and Evren Keser
Solomon Tangy (right) and Evren Keser organized to help

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Mr Tangy said many of his employees at Empee Silk Fabrics stayed behind to help – and on Friday they packed nearly 10,000 blankets to protect people from freezing temperatures.

Mr. Keser said their shipment will be on the ground in the next few days after he arranges a special flight.

“We have contacted three or four organizations through the Turkish embassy and they have arranged a free Turkish Airlines flight, so our parcel will fly tomorrow. [Saturday] at 3 o’clock,” he said.

‘A lot of our volunteers – they cry’

Mr. Keser praised how communities in the area came together, but said some helpers had received terrible news as they worked.

He told Sky News: “A lot of our volunteers, they’re crying and folding blankets because of the constant news of the loss of a loved one – or they can’t find a loved one in the family. It’s heartbreaking.”

CML Cargo call for supply has received a positive response
Cemil Acikan, owner of CML Cargo
Cemil Acikan says a lot of friends and neighbors have lost loved ones

Hundreds of boxes filled with items such as clothing, medical supplies, diapers and baby food are also being delivered to a nearby moving company in Tottenham.

The owner of CML Cargo says “a lot of our friends, or neighbors, have lost loved ones” – and so he’s taken a break from his normal business to send donations.

Cemil Acikan said there has been an “unbelievable” response and they will soon have four trucks on the road.

“The community has been very generous,” he told Sky News.

“And it’s not just the Turkish community – [it’s] lots of schools around the area – primary schools, high schools and charities.”

The aid is estimated to arrive in Istanbul in a week, where it will be sorted by aid agencies and sent to the disaster area.

There will be a special titled Disaster Zone: Turkey-Syria Earthquake on Sky News on Friday night at 9:30pm


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