Desperate man heading to Turkey to find missing relatives - how Channel Islanders can help

  • Emma Volney meets Jerseyman Cuma Dagilan whose family have been impacted by the tragedy

A Jerseyman is heading to Turkey to try and find his relatives who have been missing since the world's deadliest earthquake for over a decade hit southeastern Turkey and northern Syria.

Rescue teams are still looking for survivors in the rubble and Cuma Dagilan's cousin and aunt remain unaccounted for.

He says his family are "really suffering" as they are forced to sleep in tents with no water.

Mr Dagilan said: "It's really hard. I hope they can get any help. That's why I want to go there, to give directly to help them."

Young members of Cuma's family have no water and no warm place to sleep. Credit: Cuma Dagilan

Cuma has started a crowdfunding page, in a bid to raise £20,000 to support the relief effort when he arrives. 

Emergency funds have been set up to help those affected by the two devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Jersey's Bailiff's Chambers says: "now that the Disaster Emergencies Committee (‘DEC’) has announced the launch of its Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal, the Bailiff has decided to open a corresponding appeal through his Disaster Relief Fund to channel monies raised locally to the DEC for this purpose.  There will be more details to follow in due course."

One way to help victims and survivors is to donate through reputable charities: 

  • Red Cross - The Turkish Red Crescent has teams in more than 10 regions across the country, while the Syrian Arab Red Crescent is delivering assistance and support to those in need in the regions of Hama, Aleppo and Lattakia giving emergency first aid and evacuating people to safety.

  • UNICEF - The charity is working to ensure water supply by setting up station, sanitation and food. Teams are also working to protect unaccompanied children and reunite those who have become separated from their families. 

  • Oxfam - Teams from the charity in Turkey and Syria are assessing, with partner organisations, how best to provide aid. The Turkish branch is working with around 80 women’s cooperatives in ten provinces most affected by the quake. 

  • Save the Children - The charity prioritises children and their families, who have lost everything. It plans to give them what they need to survive, from thermal blankets, to meals and medical supplies. 

  • Islamic Relief - In Turkey, the teams are helping with emergency food, shelter and cash grants. In Syria, Islamic Relief will be providing health and medical supplies to hospitals and clinics, as well as blankets and tents for those made homeless. 

Charities from Turkey and Syria 

  • White Helmets - The grassroots Syrian organisation is made-up of volunteers whose aim is to save lives. All 3000 volunteers are on the ground searching for survivors and pulling the dead from collapsed buildings.

  • Turkish Red Crescent - Similar to the Red Cross, the Turkish Red Crescent gives humanitarian help to those in disaster zones. The team hopes to reach more earthquake victims and help them with food and shelter. 

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