Expression of Solidarity with the Turkish and Syrian people

We wish to send our solidarity to all those affected by the earthquake that has devastated large parts of Syria and Turkey in the last week. We collaborate with many Turkish colleagues and students within the ‘Decolonising Development’ network and beyond, and are aware of the close friendship and kinship networks that span the region, meaning that the tragedy will be felt both within but well beyond the earthquake zone itself. It is our hope that our Turkish and Syrian colleagues and their families are safe and healthy. Our condolences to all those who are unable to find, or have lost, loved ones. Our thoughts and hearts are with you.

We would also like to highlight a few key concerns that we feel directly relate to the focus of our network. Whilst we wholeheartedly supported the rapid response of the West to the invasion of Ukraine and the sanctuary offered to Ukrainian citizens fleeing war, we are disappointed to see the more muted response to the devastation left behind by this earthquake. Some support has been offered but nowhere near as quickly or as comprehensively. This includes relative silence from the Higher Education sector across Europe. Whether it is technical or monetary support, safety and sanctuary, or simply gestures of solidarity and support for colleagues and students within our institutions that are in shock and mourning, we can and should collectively be doing better. With the toll rising daily, let’s not forget that our colleagues and students experience intense emotions, feeling nervous, hopeless, worthless, angry, and isolated simultaneously.

We encourage our members and their circles to donate either through local organisations that they trust or through one of the organisations recommended to us by our members. Please find the list below.

With Solidarity,

COST DecolDev Core Group

AKUT: It is an NGO specialising in search and rescue operations in Turkey.

Ahbap: Ahbap is one of the most active and well-organised non-profits in Turkey, currently providing significant support in rescue efforts. Please note that the website is in Turkish and does not accept debit cards.

Earthquake Relief for Türkiye Campaign is organised by a group of employees of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) via Crowdfunder. All donations will be matched with by EBRD and go to three different civic initiatives on the ground.

Turkish Philanthropy Funds This is a US community foundation for social investments dedicated to Turkey. Their link is especially for earthquake donations.

OXFAM This is a British-founded confederation of 21 independent charitable organisations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty.

People in the UK can also donate to the DEC and the government is matching donations.

White Helmets Humanitarian volunteers involved in the search and rescue effort in Syria.

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