OPINION - After the earthquake, the Turkic world is one heart

Thu, 23 Feb 2023 9:27 GMT
The peoples of the Turkic world, who show tremendous solidarity from seven to seventy, act with feelings of kinship.
OPINION - After the earthquake, the Turkic world is one heart

Prof. Dr. Ainur Nogayeva wrote an assessment of the solidarity between the countries of the Turkic world after the earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş for AA Analysis.


Türkiye is making great efforts to heal as soon as possible the wounds of the earthquakes, which occurred one after another on February 6, and which, as many experts have stated, is rarely seen in the world in terms of its destructiveness. In an environment where the Turkish nation, government, and NGOs are mobilized, 76 countries of the world are also engaged in aid activities through both search and rescue teams and equipment and financial support. Among these international aids, the helping hand extending from the Turkish states, which have the same roots as Türkiye, is of particular importance as it shows solidarity and integrity in the Turkic world. ​​

How did Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquakes echo in the Turkish world?
Two types of aid came to the fore in these earthquakes. While many countries acted in accordance with diplomatic relations, some countries acted as if they were their own pain. While officials from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan called President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from the first days and paid condolence and support visits to the Turkish embassies in their countries, large buildings in the capitals were covered with Turkish flags. The Turkish world took action institutionally [1], both at the level of states and within the framework of joint organizations.

The people of the country mobilized from the first day within the framework of the aid campaigns launched with the hashtags "#Bizbirlikteyiz" "#Bizbirgemiz". The aid campaigns carried out in Turkic states with the slogan "From the heart that gives less, from the goods that give more" and the impact of the event on the peoples of the Turkic world was more than expected. The peoples of the Turkic world, who show tremendous solidarity from seven to seventy, act with the feelings of brotherhood and kinship. From the Kazakh children who donated the money they saved to buy a phone by saying "I'm sending it to my brothers", to our 99-year-old Uzbek grandmother who donated her pension, the peoples of the Turkic world rushed to help with one heart and one fist, such as our Azerbaijani youth who rushed to deliver aid with his old car.

The Turkic world also received support for the joint live broadcast donation campaign broadcast on 213 domestic and international television channels and 562 radios last night. In addition to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Azerbaijan, national television channels in Kyrgyzstan also contributed to this joint live broadcast. Employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Kyrgyzstan donated a total of 4 million 622 thousand 407 som (1 million 23 thousand TL), which constitutes the daily earnings of their salaries. World Meskhetian Turks Union President Ziyatdin Kassanov announced that they supported the campaign with 1 million dollars. [2]

While the Kyrgyzstan government stated that it continues its aid campaigns for earthquake victims in Türkiye, the Ministry of Finance shared that 210 thousand dollars were deposited into the bank account opened to collect aid for earthquake victims in Turkey until February 15, on its official website. [3] Uzbekistan, which operates in the earthquake region with its search and rescue team and doctors, sent 170 tons of medical and similar aid. [4] While the people of Turkmenistan and Turkish investors in the country started a blanket campaign for earthquake victims and sent 4,000 blankets to Türkiye, many aid planes from the country were also mobilized for Türkiye. [5] The European Union country Hungary, which is an observer of the Organization of Turkish States and acting together with the Turkish world with the principle of "We are the descendants of Atilla", contributed with a search and rescue team of 167 people, including the daughter of Government Spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs. [6] While the government of Azerbaijan sent humanitarian aid to the region with large numbers of planes and convoys, 725 personnel, including 34 health workers, affiliated with the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan took part in the search and rescue efforts. [7] According to the news of the Turkish Agency Cyprus (TAK), 82 trucks of aid were sent from the TRNC to Türkiye until February 14, and a cash aid of 13 million TL was transferred to AFAD accounts. [8]

The countries to which Türkiye helped are now extending a helping hand to Türkiye
Kazakhstan state television, Qazaqstan, in its live broadcast program, drew attention to the humanitarian aid that Turkey has made so far by saying, "Turkey is the second country after the United States of America in terms of quantity, but the country that provides the most humanitarian aid to the world in terms of population. Now it's the world's turn."[9 ] To remind you, while some countries left their citizens to their fate with "herd immunity" and similar practices during the Covid-19 Pandemic, Türkiye sent emergency supplies, especially respirators, and masks, to over 120 countries. According to the data of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Türkiye provided aid to 155 countries during the Pandemic. Aid was provided in the form of grants to 128 out of 155 countries, purchase and export permits to 73, and cash aid to 45. Again, according to the same data, during the Pandemic, Türkiye made the biggest foreign aid to Africa with 48 countries. Africa was followed by Europe with 41 countries, Asia with 33 countries, America with 21 countries, and Oceania with 15 countries. [10] The Secretary General of TURKSOY, known as the UNESCO of the Turkic world, Sultan Raev, also stated that "Türkiye generously extends a helping hand in every trouble of the Turkic world" and stated that this solidarity mobilization is one of the best examples of fraternal solidarity. [11th]

This disaster was deeply felt by the peoples of the Turkic world. There was intense support from the world of literature and art, as well as volunteer doctors who wanted to go to the region. The poem written with the name "To my brother who was affected by the earthquake"; artists who direct their income from concerts to Türkiye; Events such as "The help of the art world to Türkiye"; It is one of the manifestations of these deep feelings that a Kazakh artist gave the income obtained by selling his work "Umay Ana" through auction and gifting this meaningful painting to the Turkic people. The painting of Mother Umay holding her child in her arms, while showing our common past and being born from a mother, was sent with the hope of being a symbol of hope and a renewed Türkiye at the same time. We hope that, like the Phoenix, which was reborn from its ashes, the Turkic people will turn the fear and anxiety into power and become an example of resurrection, courage, and unity.

[1] https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/asrin-felaketi/turkiyedeki-depremlerin-ardindan-turk-dunyasi-biz-birlikteyiz-dedi/2821323

[2] https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/asrin-felaketi/turkiye-tek-yurek-kampanyasi-duzenlendi/2820974


[4] https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/asrin-felaketi/ozbekistan-depremzedelere-170-ton-insani-yardim-gonderdi/2818715

[5] https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/asrin-felaketi/turkmenistan-depremzedelere-3uncu-yardim-ucagini-gonderecek/2819233


[7] https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/gundem/depremlerin-ardindan-turk-dunyasi-tek-yurek-oldu/2812683

[8] https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/asrin-felaketi/kuzey-kibris-turk-cumhuriyeti-depremzedeler-icin-82-tir-yardim-gonderdi/2819452

[9] Qazaqstan Kanalı, “Ashyq Alan” Programı, 15.02.2023.

[10] https://www.mfa.gov.tr/data/BAKANLIK/pandemi/koronavirus-salginindaki-rol-ve-vizyonumuz-6-11-2020.pdf

[11] https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/asrin-felaketi/turkiyedeki-depremlerin-ardindan-turk-dunyasi-biz-birlikteyiz-dedi/2821323

[Prof. dr. Ainur Nogayeva, Erzincan Binali Yıldırım University Faculty Member]

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