Follow us on Instagram
Try our daily mini crossword
Play our latest news quiz
Download our new app on iOS/Android!

Students announce donation campaign for earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria

turkey syria
Turkish Student Association holds fundraiser after Turkey-Syria earthquake.
Kayra Sener / The Daily Princetonian

At least 12,000 people were killed in Turkey and Syria after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and a 7.5 magnitude aftershock struck neighboring countries on Feb. 6. The death toll continues to surge as rescue squads search for survivors trapped under 5000 buildings reduced to rubbles.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared a three-month state of emergency, saying that this is the biggest disaster Turkey has experienced since another earthquake that struck the country in 1939


Following the earthquake, Turkish Student Association (TSA) announced a donation campaign, Turkish Students for Earthquake Relief, for the survivors. 

Alkin Kaz ’23, president of TSA, told The Daily Princetonian that a quick distribution of resources is necessary. 

“As the unfortunate news of the earthquakes has shaken our friends, families, and the globe, we wanted to contribute to the disaster response efforts to the highest extent possible,” he said. 

“Over the following days,” he added, “we will be organizing a donation drive where critically needed items to survive in the harsh winter, such as blankets and sleeping bags, would be accepted and transported to the earthquake-affected regions.”

The disaster has devastated the Turkish-Syrian community in Princeton. In an interview with the Daily Princetonian, Emre Parmaksiz ’24, whose parents and brother live in the region, said, “I can do nothing but wait. It is simply tormenting.” 

Parmaksiz’s parents serve as medical doctors, and he told the ‘Prince’ that they were both “rushed to the hospital, and for the last two days, they have been attending day and night shifts.” Currently, tens of thousands are injured and in need of medical attention. 


Since the first high-magnitude earthquake, the region has been hit by at least 100 aftershocks.

Many countries have already pledged to provide aid. India, Israel, South Korea, and other nations are sending equipment, specialized teams, and sniffer dogs to assist in the rescue efforts. 

CNN however, reported that 70% of the Syrian population is already in need of humanitarian relief before the earthquake, as Syria faces water, electricity, and fuel shortages. 

“I have family in Syria, and I am worried about their well-being”, wrote Manar Talab ’23, the former president of the Princeton Arab Society, in an email to the ‘Prince’. “My father was in Syria only days ago. My mom and dad who are currently in Lebanon felt the earthquake, and I am so lucky that they are okay.”

Get the best of ‘the Prince’ delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe now »

The Balkan Society has also announced its support to the affected communities in Princeton in an email on Feb 6.

“Our hearts go out to the Turkish, Kurdish, and Arab members of our community whose families and friends the earthquake has affected,” wrote Martin Mastnak ’25, the president of the Balkan Society, in an email to the Prince. 

“We likewise applaud the spirit of solidarity shown by rescue and relief workers from the Balkans volunteering in the area. We urge the Princeton community to keep the people of an often-overlooked region in their hearts,” Mastnak wrote. 

Dean Mellisa Thompson, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students, also sent the Turkish and Syrian students an email “checking in” and offering support and resources to students in need of help. 

“The Assistant Deans for Student Life in the residential colleges are available to provide support and resources,” Thompson told the ‘Prince.’ “I encourage students impacted by the earthquake to connect with the ADSL in their residential college.”

Kayra Sener is a news contributor for the ‘Prince.’ 

Please send any corrections to corrections[at]