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First lady Erdoğan instills hope at iftar with Turkish quake victims



First lady Emine Erdoğan hosted an iftar, a dinner to mark the breaking of the daily fast, for Türkiye’s earthquake victims and volunteers at the State Guesthouse in the capital Ankara Tuesday.

She wished mercy for the precious lives lost in the disaster and hoped for a better time for the whole country, especially for the victims.

“Türkiye will continue to spread hope to the world, where the need for human love and conscience is increasing day by day. History will witness how the disaster of the century turned into the ‘solidarity movement of the century,’” Erdoğan asserted.

Appreciating the love and support the country received during testing times, the first lady said: “Thousands of domestic and foreign philanthropists rushed to heal our wounds and humanitarian aid broke through the barriers of prejudice and turned into bridges of mercy.”

Conveying her heartfelt gratitude, Erdoğan said that the volunteers have become “a symbol of charity with their perseverance and their devoted efforts.”

“Although a part of us is always sad, we will not give up holding on to life. We will rebuild our cities while restoring our hearts,” the first lady emphasized.


Reiterating the importance of unity and brotherhood during catastrophes especially, Erdoğan said: “As long as we are united, it will not be difficult to overcome obstacles and heal our wounds.”

“In the first days of the earthquake, a foreign delegation said: ‘We learned to help from Türkiye.’ Is it not a proud moment for us? We have set a global example. It is all the hard work of our ancestors who not only extended a helping hand of friendship to people but remain with other nations in their hard times,” she said.

“Besides being a virtue for our nation, charity, which is a characteristic of our culture, will spread to the world from these lands,” added Erdoğan.

Kübra Avşar, a volunteer from a local nongovernmental organization (NGO) that participated in the earthquake relief operations, said that she had not expected a disaster of this scale.

“I helped a woman give birth on the first night of the earthquake,” she recounted. “My hands still shake when I recall that night. There was no electricity and no light. We were in the worst conditions. I helped the mother using a phone flashlight. We have always heard our elders say, ‘Life goes on.’ We actually learned this that night. Amid thousands of deaths and funerals, a new life came into being.”

“We are really a great nation. If we come together, our strength doubles,” Avşar said.

Another volunteer, Gülfem Zengin who lives in France, set out for the disaster zone by land, with the thought that the only thing she could do in this case was to bring as much help as possible.


“Everyone back in France helped with loading the supplies,” she said.

It took her four days to reach Kahramanmaraş, the epicenter of the tremors.

“I am so glad that I made it. As a Turk, I am very proud of who I am. We showed the world our power with our kind nature and act of unity.”

First lady Erdoğan and the guests shared emotional moments after the iftar as they listened to similar stories from other volunteers who stood out for their work in the aftermath of the deadly earthquake.

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Source: Daily Sabah

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