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Turkey earthquake aid campaign raises more than $6bn

Organisations and individuals donate to fundraising drive broadcast on 200 television and 500 radio channels
Search and rescue personnel consoles relatives of earthquake victims in Turkey's Hatay city on 15 February 2023 (Anadolu Agency)
A search and rescue team member consoles a relative of earthquake victims in Turkey's Hatay province, on 15 February 2023 (Anadolu Agency)

A fundraising drive in Turkey has raised 115 billion Turkish liras ($6.1bn) that will go towards providing relief to the millions of people affected by last week's devastating earthquake.

Companies, institutions, organisations, and individuals made donations to the campaign, named Turkiye One Heart, on Wednesday via a joint live broadcast through 200 television and 500 radio channels.

Popular TV stars from different channels urged the public to make donations to the Turkish disaster management agency Afad and the Turkish Red Crescent.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that every penny collected from the donation campaign would be used for the welfare of the earthquake victims, TRT World reported.

Turkey earthquake: Financial damage estimated to reach staggering $84bn
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Some of the highest donations came from the Turkish Central Bank which donated 30 billion Turkish liras ($1.6bn), followed by the state-run lenders Ziraat with 20 billion liras ($1bn); Vakif with 12 billion liras ($637m); and Halk with seven billion liras ($371.3m).

The country's GSM operators Turkcell and Turk Telekom donated 3.5 billion liras ($185.6m) and two billion liras ($106m), respectively.

Turkish conglomerates Cengiz Holding and Kalyoncular Holding donated 2.5 billion Turkish liras ($132.6m) and 950 million liras ($50.4 million), respectively. 

Turkey’s Saving Deposit Insurance Fund, Borsa Istanbul, and Turkey Sigorta donated two billion liras ($106m) each.

The country's aviation firm Baykar and flag carrier Turkish Airlines donated two billion liras ($106m) each.

The campaign started at 8 pm local time on Wednesday and aimed to bring leading culture, art, business, and sports figures to support the earthquake victims.

Over 36,000 people were killed and 105,500 injured in Turkey by two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Turkey on 6 February, according to the latest official figures.

The magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 tremors affected 13 million people in Turkey across 10 provinces.  In neighbouring Syria, at least 3,688 people were killed and over 14,749 injured.

The damage from the earthquake has caused tens of billions of dollars of damage to Turkey's economy. An estimate from JP Morgan stated the damage to the country's physical infrastructure was estimated to be $25bn.

Another report by a Turkish business group stated that the estimated damage was $84bn.

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