Derry restaurateur donating 15% of takings to Turkey-Syria earthquake relief after quake devastates home town

The proprietors of a Derry restaurant originally from Adana are donating 15 per cent of takings over the next ten days to the Turkey-Syria earthquake response.

Adana, with a population of 2.2million, was one of the cities most severely hit by Monday’s catastrophic earthquakes in south eastern Turkey and Syria in which many thousands of people are confirmed to have lost their lives with the death toll expected to rise.

The city is less than a hundred miles from Kahramanmaraş where an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale occurred at 4.17am local time on Monday.

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According to the latest bulletin from the Turkish Ministry of Interior’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) – published on Tuesday morning – a total of 243 earthquakes occurred including a 7.6-magnitude earthquake that hit Elbistan.

The most recent bulletin from AFAD states that 2,921 people have lost their lives and 15,834 individuals have been injured in Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Adana, Adıyaman, Osmaniye, Hatay, Kilis and Malatya. However, these figures are rising by the hour.

In response to the catastrophe, which has also claimed many thousands of lives in northern Syria, the owners of the popular Istanbul Restaurant in Derry city centre, have launched a fundraising appeal.

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Over the next week-and-a-half 15 per cent of all takings from the traditional Turkish grill will go towards helping those affected by the disaster.

HATAY, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 07: A woman waits for news of her loved ones, believed to be trapped under collapsed building on February 07, 2023 in Iskenderun, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries.  (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)HATAY, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 07: A woman waits for news of her loved ones, believed to be trapped under collapsed building on February 07, 2023 in Iskenderun, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries.  (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)
HATAY, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 07: A woman waits for news of her loved ones, believed to be trapped under collapsed building on February 07, 2023 in Iskenderun, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)
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"I’m sure by now everyone is aware of the devastating affects of the earthquakes in our home town in Turkey! The devastation is absolutely heart-breaking and in the hours and days ahead it will surely continue!

"Anyone who dines with us in the next 10 days 15 per cent of the value of your bill will be donated to Turkey to help with the devastating effects many families will face now and in coming days!” the proprietors stated, indicating that their hearts are broken after the monumental tragedy.

Meanwhile, a solidarity rally has been organised at the Guildhall on Tuesday, at 6pm.

Davy McAuley, of the Derry Anti War Coalition, said: “Much of Northern Syria has already been decimated by war, the suffering of these people is unimaginable.

The Mayor of Adana, Zeydan Karalar, visits displaced people affected by the earthquake in the south eastern Turkish town.The Mayor of Adana, Zeydan Karalar, visits displaced people affected by the earthquake in the south eastern Turkish town.
The Mayor of Adana, Zeydan Karalar, visits displaced people affected by the earthquake in the south eastern Turkish town.
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“The Syrian families living in Derry mostly come from the north of the country. They are desperately watching the television coverage and trying to get news of loved ones.

“There is a sizable Turkish and Kurdish community in Derry. Many of them have family and friends caught up in this awful tragedy. We need to let them know that they are not alone.

“That Derry is a place that will stand with them. Please come out to show your support for our Turkish, Kurdish and Syrian neighbours.”

HATAY, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 07: Women walk past the scene of a collapsed building on February 07, 2023 in Iskenderun, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries.  (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)HATAY, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 07: Women walk past the scene of a collapsed building on February 07, 2023 in Iskenderun, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries.  (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)
HATAY, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 07: Women walk past the scene of a collapsed building on February 07, 2023 in Iskenderun, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)

A massive relief effort is now underway in Turkey and Syria.

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The AFAD said 13,740 search and rescue workers, 316 vehicles and 3,361 (with 629 crane) pieces of construction equipment have been deployed to the affected area. A total of 2,660 teams from 65 countries have contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to offer assistance.

The Mayor of Adana, Zeydan Karalar, visited some of the disaster relief areas in Adana praising the ‘devoted teams working on the wreckage’.

“We will get through these difficult times together,” he stated.

Across the border in Syrian, many thousands of people, have also lost their lives. However, the contested nature of the state following the Syrian war means information about the scale of the disaster has been less precise.

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According to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) the Syrian Arab Red Crescent has been responding on the ground since early on Monday, supporting search and rescue operations, providing first aid, performing emergency medical evacuations and transporting injured people to the hospitals.

The ruins of a collapsed building in Adana.The ruins of a collapsed building in Adana.
The ruins of a collapsed building in Adana.

A big number of buildings collapsed amidst vulnerable living situations and very harsh weather conditions.

“This earthquake caused unfathomable damage. Our worst fear is coming true. In this response, every minute counts,” said Xavier Castellanos, IFRC Under Secretary General for National Society Development and Operations Coordination.

“The vulnerabilities are coupled on top of harsh winter conditions, making it unbearable for many. The vulnerable living conditions, particularly in Syria, are even further stretched in a decade-long war. People who lost their homes and loved ones need our support. We must join forces and do our best to help.”

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The President, Michael D. Higgins has expressed ‘profound sympathy on behalf of the people of Ireland to the peoples of Türkiye and Syria who are experiencing the devastating earthquakes which have taken place this morning’.

“All of our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and those have been injured, and we send our support to those emergency services who continue with the work of rescuing and protection of those impacted by these terrible tragedies.

“As President of Ireland, I wish to assure those members of the Turkish and Syrian communities living in Ireland who may have relatives directly impacted that we are offering them our solidarity at this time,” he stated.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin, T.D., has announced €2 million in emergency assistance to the people of Türkiye and Syria.

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He said: ‘‘The people of Ireland have been shocked by the loss of life in Türkiye and Syria as a result of the devastating earthquakes this morning.

"Thousands have already lost their lives and it is feared the numbers will only increase in the days ahead. In response, I have made an initial allocation of €2 million to the IFRC and the UN to address the urgent and immediate humanitarian needs of those affected in Türkiye and Syria.”

The Mayor of Adana, Keydan Karalar, talks to citizens in the aftermath of Monday's devastating earthquakes.The Mayor of Adana, Keydan Karalar, talks to citizens in the aftermath of Monday's devastating earthquakes.
The Mayor of Adana, Keydan Karalar, talks to citizens in the aftermath of Monday's devastating earthquakes.
HATAY, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 07: Smoke billows from the Iskenderun Port as rescue workers work at the scene of a collapsed building on February 07, 2023 in Iskenderun, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries.  (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)HATAY, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 07: Smoke billows from the Iskenderun Port as rescue workers work at the scene of a collapsed building on February 07, 2023 in Iskenderun, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries.  (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)
HATAY, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 07: Smoke billows from the Iskenderun Port as rescue workers work at the scene of a collapsed building on February 07, 2023 in Iskenderun, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)
ISKENDERUN, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 06: Earthquake survivors sit around a fire on February 06, 2023 in Iskenderun Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)ISKENDERUN, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 06: Earthquake survivors sit around a fire on February 06, 2023 in Iskenderun Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)
ISKENDERUN, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 06: Earthquake survivors sit around a fire on February 06, 2023 in Iskenderun Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)
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