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Syria and Turkey Earthquake: People Urged to Not Donate ‘Inappropriate’ Items to Survivors

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria


After the devastating earthquake in southeast Turkey and northern Syria, the region continues to receive support from around the world. Along with the aid from international organizations and governments, donations are also coming in from individuals and smaller charities. While this outpouring of solidarity is commendable, recent posts on TikTok have revealed a disappointing side to it all.

Videos on TikTok see torn clothing and used lingerie along with completely impractical items such as 10-inch heels and sequinned tops in donation piles. All over social media, people are being called out for using donation drives as an outlet to get rid of the trash within their homes, items that are bound to have no use for those still reeling in the aftermath of the tragedy.

A Twitter user posted photos of donations made in the US including items such as torn hotel slippers, makeup, and even a wig. Her tweet reminded people that “Earthquake survivors in Turkey are not your garbage bin.”

Also Read: Turkey and Syria Hit by Devastating Earthquake: All the Details You Need, and How You Can Help

Photo: Wam

UK charity Turkish Cypriot Community Association revealed that around 20% of the donations they had received were inappropriate or completely unusable. “We were very clear about what donations we would accept. We did say we would not accept any inappropriate clothing. For example, no thin-layer clothing, dresses or high heels,” CEO Erim Metto told Metro. “Our volunteers filter these through and they are discarded — for example, hygiene products that are only half-full and have been used. Once we get through that first stage, anything that is again not appropriate for the location we are gathering donations for, but is still usable, we would package separately and give to Trade,” he added.

The death toll in Turkey currently stands at over 40,000 while in Syria more than 5,800 deaths have been reported.  Survivors who are also dealing with extreme weather conditions need practical items of clothing and basic supplies much more than anything else. Many organizations have reiterated that new items are preferred over second-hand ones. For those unable to donate supplies but still wish to help, financial donations may be the most appropriate considering that not only can they be delegated where needed most but unlike physical items, they do not require sorting or need transport. If people are looking to donate physical items, some essential supplies include sleeping bags, tents, blankets, portable heaters, and winter clothing along with food and hygiene items.

Read Next: Vogue Arabia Will Donate All Newsstand Sales from the February Issue to Earthquake Relief in Turkey and Syria

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