Dayton Turkish community raising donations for Turkey following earthquake

Members of the Osman Gazi Mosque are collecting donations for victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that impacted Turkey and neighboring Syria on Monday, and they’re asking for help from the local community, as well.

“We are accepting donations from all communities,” said Bayram Gulaliev, a board member of the Osman Gazi Mosque. “It’s heartbreaking for us.”

Gulaliev said they are collecting donations of clothing items, such as coats, jackets, sweaters, children’s clothing, boots, socks, gloves, hats, scarves, and more, along with blankets and sleeping bags for victims of the 7.8 earthquake.

Estimates from officials in Turkey and Syria on Tuesday revealed the earthquake had killed over 7,000 individuals and injured an estimated 35,000 across Turkey and Syria. The earthquake was centered in Turkey’s southeastern province of Kahramanmaras, and it was felt as far away as Cairo.

Osman Gazi Mosque will be collecting the donations this week through Friday until they fill up a freight trailer, which will then be headed to Chicago, where Turkish Airlines will take it to Turkey. Those wishing to donate clothing or winter items can bring them to Osman Gazi Mosque, located at 1508 Valley St. in Dayton, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Friday.

Gulaliev said video coverage from theregion, including some graphic footage of the rescue efforts, has been disheartening for people in Dayton who have lived in Turkey. With these donations efforts, they are hoping to show those victims support.

“We are praying for them,” Gulaliev said.

Alisher Bektash, another board member at Osman Gazi, said he was glad they could help out. Bektash said he understood some of what they victims were going through as his furniture store was demolished during the Memorial Day tornadoes in the Dayton region in 2019.

“I feel that pain,” Bektash said.

“It’s hard. It’s hard for us as a Turkish community,” said Mustafa Lumanov, another board member at Osman Gazi. “We need to stand by them. We appreciate our Dayton community for their help.”

They are also raising funds through GoFundMe, having raised nearly $100,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

How to donate

Clothing or winter items can be brought to Osman Gazi Mosque, 1508 Valley St., Dayton, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Friday.

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