Turkey earthquake: Edinburgh businesswoman joins aid appeal for those hit by Turkey earthquake
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An Edinburgh businesswoman who has family in Turkey is using her hair salon and her florists to collect vital aid to help people there who have been impacted by the devastating earthquake last week that hit the country and neighbouring Syria.
In the early hours of February 6, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, followed by another earthquake soon afterwards. It is currently estimated that more than 41,000 people were killed and survivors who have been forced to flee their homes are now facing freezing temperatures.
Members of the Turkish community in Edinburgh have come together to help collect urgent aid for the devastated region, with a warehouse in Leith storing donations which are sent on to Glasgow and then via plane to Turkey, with a shipment of five tonnes of aid sent last week from Scotland.
Local businesswoman Bryony Quate-Güngörmez is accepting vital donations of clothing and toiletries at her Bryony Quate Hairdressing salon and Quate & Co Florists, across the road from each other on Bruntsfield Place, to urgently send to the region through this large effort in Scotland which is being co-ordinated by the Turkish consulate.
Her husband Mahsun Güngörmez is from Adana in Turkey, one of the cities worst-hit by the tragedy, from where he returned last week just before the earthquake struck the region.
Speaking about the efforts in Edinburgh to help those affected by the natural disaster, Bryony said: “There is such an amazing Turkish community in Edinburgh, so we felt like we just couldn’t sit back and do nothing. We got in touch with Mahsun’s friends back home to see what is needed.
"The appeal is looking for new baby clothing, toiletries, new underwear. The response has been so overwhelming, the amount of people that have donated aid supplies, not only to myself but all over Edinburgh, has been incredible. We are so grateful. We have taken in donations and tried to raise awareness of the appeal as much as we can to help get the vital supplies over there as soon as possible. You have no idea how many people these donations will help.”
Speaking yesterday about her family members in Turkey, Bryony added: “Luckily they are safe. But their homes are a different story. And my husband has lost some close family friends. So the least we can do here in Scotland is try to help as best as we can. It’s still on-going.
"We have the hairdressers and the florists so obviously it has been crazy in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day. Once I get today over with, I will be back to doing the drop-offs and helping as much as I can. I will keep everybody updated on social media on a daily basis.”
Bryony is asking people to donate the following items to the appeal, either at her shops on Bruntsfield Place (Monday to Saturday 9am -6pm) or other businesses involved in the appeal: New baby clothing, tinned baby food and formula, tinned produce, tents, sleeping bags, charging power banks, nappies, sanitary towels, socks and new underwear.
Bryony had special praise for Begin Jackson, who is in charge of the main Edinburgh collection unit in Leith. She added: “We have used our Quate & Co vans to take all the donations down to there. It then goes onto Glasgow and then by plane to Turkey. The first shipment went at the weekend with more planned. We are obviously just collecting aid supplies to go to Turkey, but you can donate to the appeal as well through the Turkish Consulate.”
A statement by the Edinburgh-based Turkish Consulate General on Facebook thanked Scots for their support. “Thank you to all our philanthropists who work day and night at the collection centres, the Scottish community and everyone who contributed to the campaign, hoping that aid will help heal the wounds in the areas affected by the earthquake.
“More than five tons of in-kind aid which was collected through the campaign initiated by our citizens in Scotland due to the earthquake disaster in Kahramanmaraş are now being handed over to Turkish Airlines for its transport to Türkey. We thank all our citizens, Scottish people who took part in, contributed to this campaign and worked at the collection centers day and night.”
The DEC has also launched a Turkey-Syria Earthquake appeal, with millions of pounds raised in the UK within days to supply vital aid to those affected by the devastating earthquakes.