How to Support turkey’s Earthquake Emergency Relief Effort

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Turkey and Syria experienced an absolutely devastating earthquake on 6th February 2023. While help has poured in, particularly for Turkey, they’ll need ongoing support for a long time. If you’d like to contribute to the relief effort then here are some options.

Local Collections

Many local areas are creating collection points for you to donate goods like

  • blankets and bedding
  • warm clothes
  • bandages and painkillers
  • non-perishable food
  • nappies and baby formula
  • dry pet food

Check local Facegroup and community groups to find something in your area.

Giving Online

Be discerning about which organisations you choose to support.

If the websites you’re looking at aren’t in English, open them in Google Chrome and it will automatically translate them for you.

As I’m writing this the exchange rates are:

  • $1 = 19₺
  • £1 = 23₺
  • € = 20₺

So when you see 100₺ being asked for it can look like a lot but really it’s only about $5.

Organisations and NGOs


AHBAP is a non-government organisation with volunteers in the affected regions of Turkey. This is an NGO I’ve heard being recommended several times. They’re helping with shelter, food and medical supplies.

The Turkish Red Crescent Society is the largest humanitarian organisation in Turkey and is backed by the Government. They are a voluntary organisation and part of the International Red Cross.

Choose Love is a non-profit organisation that supports refugees and displaced people across the world. They’re fundraising on behalf of their partners in both Turkey and Syria. 100% of the money you donate to this campaign will help people affected by this earthquake.

Lifting Hands International is a US non-profit that was established after the founder spent time volunteering with refugees in Lesvos Greece. They specialise in helping people who’ve been displaced from their homes by conflict or natural disaster and work closely with partners already in the area.

One of the great things about LHI is that $0.98 of every dollar donated to them directly supports their programmes. The organisation is currently in Turkey working to source and distribute food, tents, heaters and other items that people desperately need.


Getting help to Syria is much harder than to Turkey. There are hardly any entry points to actually get aid into the country and the infrastructure has been dreadfully depleted over years of conflict.

The White Helmets / Syria Civil Defence are volunteers who’ve been pulling people from the rubble for all these years of fighting, not just now with the earthquake. As an organisation, they do good work. They follow humanitarian values and principles as per the Geneva Conventions and they’ve been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times.

Choose Love – see above, they’re raising funds for both countries.

Lifting Hands International – LHI say that they’ll soon be sending aid to help families in hard-to-reach areas of northwest Syria. Check their site for updates.

What Your Money Is Being Used For

If you visit the websites above you can see what your money will be going towards. For the most part, you’ll be supporting things like:

  • getting more equipment to pull people from the rubble
  • paying for fuel to take survivors and injured to hospital
  • funding resources like warm clothes, tents, heaters, water filters, power packs, medical & hygiene items
  • providing hot food for the affected communities
  • providing food for the affected cats and dogs

Suzie Young

Suzie writes informative posts for solo, nervous or first-time travellers to Greece, Turkey and other countries on her 50-before-50 bucket list. She became a Greek resident in 2020 and intends to visit every inhabited island (13 down!).

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