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How Edinburgh students can support those impacted by the earthquake in Syria and Turkey

Many Turkish and Syrian students feel ‘helpless and alone’

On Monday, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck both Turkey and Syria – the death toll is increasing by the hour, despite the heoric efforts of rescue teams.

There is no doubt that this disaster has been awful for students here in Edinburgh. One, Ali Ege Topal, spoke to The Tab Edinburgh to highlight the importance of support from Edinburgh students:

“We feel helpless and alone. It is a disaster, one unlike anything we’ve ever seen. There is not a single Turkish student who has not cried their guts out in the past few days. My father even went to help people as there weren’t enough rescue teams – the things he’s seen there have been horrific.”

As such, here are a few ways to support those impacted by this disaster, locally in Edinburgh and through international organisations.

Methods of support based in Edinburgh:

Support the fundraising of The University’s Turkish Society

The Turkish Society at Edinburgh is hosting a bakery and coffee stand near the library on the 10th of February. All the money raised will be donated to one of the organisations helping the earthquake victims.


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Donate items to the Edinburgh-based charity ATAS

ATAS stands for the Association of Turkish Alumni and Students – it represents all the Turkish people who are currently studying and graduated in Scotland. They are looking for donations which will be sent to victims. There are several locations in Edinburgh where you can drop off items such as winter clothing, tents, torches, baby food and many more.

International methods of support:

AFAD, Turkey’s official disaster management authority

You can donate in Euros and US dollars. Donate here.

AKUT, Search and Rescue Association

Akut is a voluntary, non-governmental organisation that is involved in the rescuing of those who are missing due to the earthquake. You can read about exactly where donations go to on their website.

You can donate in Euros and US dollars. Donate here.


Oxfam has opened donations to help those affected by the disaster. They are working closely with local authorities to assess the help that is needed. Donate here.

Aid from The University of Edinburgh

The university has offered support to Turkish and Syrian students via the university’s chaplaincy. They have been invited to speak to staff experienced in aiding students in these types of situations. This meeting was on Thursday, 9th February, though more options for aid are expected to be offered in the coming days.

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