South Africans donating generously for earthquake victims in Türkiye, says envoy

South Africans have donated generously to help the victims of last week's earthquakes in southern Türkiye, Ankara's ambassador to Pretoria, Aysegul Kandas said on Monday.

Kandas underlined that South Africans have been sending items such as winter tents, generators, and sleeping bags, transported to Türkiye on national carrier Turkish Airlines with more donations still being collected.

Designated donation collection sites across the country have been filled with various relief items, she added, with the Turkish Embassy in Pretoria coordinating all disaster aid from South Africa destined for the earthquake zones.

The four collection points where goods are being dropped off are the Turkish Consulate General in Cape Town, the Yunus Emre Institute in Johannesburg, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) office in Pretoria, and the branch of household appliances company Defy in Durban. Defy is a subsidiary of Turksh company Arcelik.

In an earlier statement, Kandas thanked South Africans for their generosity towards the earthquake victims. "We are also grateful for the initial response of South Africa through search and rescue team and canines belonging to NGO's (non-governmental organizations) such as Gift of the Givers and Al Imdaad," she ahd said in an earlier press statement.

Gift of the Givers has so far sent 44 search and rescue personnel, including trauma doctors, while South African police have sent five dogs and handlers to Turkiye. Other humanitarian groups, including the Al Imdaad foundation and Hope SA, are taking part of the disaster response in Turkiye.

Kandas said she was grateful to South Africans, who have mobilized to send in-kind assistance, cash donations, and organize media campaigns for quake victims.

"The South African government has also been forthcoming in sending aid," she added.

Abdulaziz Yigit, director of the Yunus Emre Institute in South Africa, told Anadolu that Turkish language students at the center launched a campaign to raise tents for Turkiye and said they had so far collected 418.

"We've collected over 5,000 blankets, 100 generators, 650 winter tents, 1,000 sleeping bags," he said.

Kandas stressed that clothes or blankets were no longer being sent to the quake zone. "Instead winter tents, sleeping bags, gas heaters, generators are urgently needed, since it is (in the) minus degrees and there is no electricity in the region."

Source: Anadolu Agency