The aid campaign initiated by Mersin Humanitarian Relief Platform succeeded to collect food worth of 2.200.000 TRY (1,000,000 USD) and sent it off to Syria with 44 aid trucks.
Before the trucks hit the road a ceremony was held in front of Muğdat Mosque attended by the mayor of Mersin, Hasan Basri Güzeloğlu, head of Mersin municipality, Burhanettin Kocamaz, IHH board member Durmuş Aydın, head of IHH Mersin branch and head of the Platform Mesut Kayacı, the local dignitaries, members of the Platform and Turkish and Syrian locals.
The head of the Platform Mesut Kayaca delivered the opening speech following the Quranic recitation. He said that they could not turn a blind eye to the events happening in Syria. "You all know what is going on in Syria over the past 4 years. IHH has been there from the beginning. So we started out to give support but we intended this to be a campaign of Mersin itself. Our initial goal was to send off 33 aid trucks. But we received a greater support from the people. In the last week of the campaign the aid we have collected filled up 33 trucks and the number reached 44 today. I would like to thank everybody for their support” he said.
"UP TO NOW WE’VE SENT 120 MILLION-DOLLAR-AID”
IHH board member, Durmuş Aydın underlined that that they have been working in Syria since March, 2011.
"People all over Turkey have mobilized in order to help out their Syrian brothers. Up to now 8 million people have been displaced in Syria. 5 million people fled the country and took refuge elsewhere. They are trying to survive in refugee camps under hard conditions. Yet, those who are still inside Syria, bear much harder conditions. Over 5 million children have been affected from this war. 118 thousand children are hospitalized.
The number of casualties is close to 200.000, 10.000 of which is children. Really, these people are trying to survive under very hard conditions. We have so far sent in 120 million dollar aid in cash and in kind. We will keep up our aid work. Today, I wish and pray that God be please with your support," he said.
"WHAT IS GOING ON SYRIA IS AN ATROCIOUS WAR AND A SHAME FOR HUMANITY”
Mersin Mayor Hasan Basri Güzeloğlu said that what is going on in Syria certainly is an atrocious war and a shame for humanity.
"Tears and cries of Syrians reach out to the conscience of all humanity. Indeed, the atrocities against all from children to elderly, this human tragedy does not resonate in every corner of the world as much as it does in Turkey. We are such people and government that we always lend a helping hand to the one in need. We draw our strength from our faith and spiritual values. We do not refrain from donating our livelihood to support those in difficulty and from offering our savings to our neighbour in need," he said.
"WE CAN’T TURN A BLIND EYE TO THIS”
Mr. Güzeloğlu stressed that it is innocent civilians that are killed next door.
"Children, innocent people from all ages and status are displaced and they are killed. Their fundamental values are destroyed. We cannot turn a blind eye to this. What Turkish government has spent during this catastrophe in Syria is over 2.5 million dollars. We believe that if someone goes to sleep hungry next door you do not have the right to sleep with full stomach. If you do not run to help with whatever you have to the one in need and in difficulty then what you have is not wealth. Because real wealth is not what you possess. It is what you share. Wealth is about bridging what I have with one who does not have. What you have to offer might be a material possession, or love from your heart or a hug or solidarity. It might even be a prayer from silent hearts reaching out to the needy ones. Every member of this society inspired by our faith and tradition does that. We see that today as well. I would like to thank everyone who reaches out to the suppressed people in need." he said.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony followed the speeches and the aid-trucks hit the road to Syria after Mufti of Mersin Ali Melek said prayers.
It was an emotional moment as Syrian citizens could not hold back their tears.