Last week, a major earthquake destabilized the majority of Turkey, a nation in Asia Minor that unites the Asian and European continents. The earthquake has produced a historic death toll, but many Americans feel unaffected by the natural disaster. However, Florida State University has a significant Turkish population in its student body, who have been tremendously affected by the events of last week.
The Collegian spoke with the vice president of the Turkish Student Association, Kaan Akdogan. Vice President Akdogan said he was,”devastated” after the earthquake.
“I grew up in Turkiye throughout my life, and I have had my experience with multiple earthquakes, though none of them were big enough to cause any damage to people other than property. Although my family has not been impacted, a lot of my friends’ families are living in the region and are under the collapsed buildings right at this moment,” said Akdogan.
“There are other Turkish students right now whose families are in the region trying to survive and waiting for help to come.”
As of today, the death toll has reached 36,000 people, but this number is likely to increase as countless civilians remain trapped in the aftermath of the earthquake. This makes recovery efforts extremely difficult to coordinate, as the Turkish infrastructure has been totally destroyed, making the country largely dependent on foreign aid.
As individuals who share a university with students who call Turkey home, there are many actions we can take to help the Turkish nation recover from this historically fatal natural disaster.
Akdogan told the Collegian, “At this moment, we raised $620 for rescue and aid efforts in our donation fund, which is a lot, although not enough by any means. One dollar right now equals 18.8 liras (Turkish currency), which can provide multiple meals for a person impacted by the disaster. One dollar can provide blankets, heating devices, tents, and everything that people need in the region.”
There are multiple ways Americans and students at Florida State can assist destabilized Turkish people recovering from the earthquake. The most efficient, however, would be monetary donations, which can be made here.
Across the world, students we share classrooms with have faced life-changing situations as a result of this earthquake. It is our duty as Seminoles and Americans to assist those who have helped Florida State become the premier university that it is.