Turkey

ADRA continues to aid Turkey earthquake victims living in tent communities

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY - Following the series of earthquakes and aftershocks that rocked Turkey and left thousands homeless since August, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is continuing its efforts to provide shelter, food, water and other items to those still coping with the effects. Most recently, ADRA distributed 3,000 hygiene kits and 1,300 blankets to earthquake victims in tent communities in Adapazari.
The distribution was part of a project to provide 4,000 hygiene kits, 4,000 blankets and 1,000 baby kits to earthquake victims before the end of the year, with funding from the Swiss government and the ADRA office in Switzerland.

The streets of Adapazari are extremely dirty and people have set up camps everywhere, according to Alexander S. Balint, ADRA Turkey public relations officer.

"This looks like some kind of remnant from a war zone," Balint says. "There is an all around sense of disillusionment from the people. Many have recounted stories of the deaths of their children, husbands, and entire families. Horror stories about not being able to reach their sobbing and frightened children, disbelief about their entire belongings, homes, savings, etc., gone in just 45 seconds.

"The weather is inconsistent. Some days it is quite warm and sunny which, although it is welcome in comparison to the rain, increases the stench of trash, dust and diesel in the air. Cold and rainy days are especially problematic for the living conditions here, as many people have settled on grassy fields that become muddy swamps. One can see everywhere, countless buildings brought down to rubble. Remaining structures are supported by only a few cracked pillars or by leaning against their surroundings, and would be deemed unsafe by any safety codes."

Earlier in the year, ADRA distributed beds, blankets, sleeping bags, hygiene items, clothing and shoes, dishes, tents, and other items to the earthquake-devastated towns of Adapazari, Izmit and Gölc=FCk. ADRA, formed in 1956, is an independent, humanitarian agency established with the specific purpose of individual and community development and disaster relief in more than 120 countries worldwide. If you would like to assist with this or other recent major disaster, donations can be made by calling ADRA's toll-free number 1-800-ADRA (2372) or online at www.adra.org.