Turkish-American group coordinates aid effort here after quake

earthquake rubble and heavy equipment digging
Workers watch as a digger sorts through the rubble after the earthquake struck on February 7, 2023 in Malatya, Türkiye. An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 occurred in the Pazarcık district of Kahramanmaraş ruins on February 6. Photo credit (Photo by Hakan Akgun/ dia images)

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago’s Turkish-American community is banding together to help after thousands were killed in a major earthquake in parts of Turkey and Syria early Monday.

“It’s beyond devastating,” says Zerrin Bulut, board secretary of the Turkish American Cultural Alliance (TACA) in Chicago.

“We’re all still kind of reeling with the emotions and consequences of an event like this,” she said Tuesday. “On a personal level, we’re trying to make sure that everyone we know is okay.”

They’re also doing what they can to offer assistance.

Bulut said TACA is working alongside the Turkish Consulate in Chicago, as well as Turkish Airlines, to collect and send essential items to those impacted by the earthquake.

“We’re focused on winter clothing items: Coats, boots, warm weather gear for kids, males, females. Everyone is affected and in need of support.”

For more information about how to help, go to the group's website.

“With the horrible comes really beautiful instances of people stepping forward and reminding you that there are so many good people in the world,” Bulut said. “I think sometimes we forget that.”

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Featured Image Photo Credit: (Photo by Hakan Akgun/ dia images)