Dear members of the international legal community,
We are writing with a heavy heart once again, after the Izmir Earthquake in 2020, to appeal to the international legal community to mobilise and support the relief efforts in support of the lawyers’ community in Turkey who have been among those severely affected by the devastating earthquake of February 6, 2023.
As you might have been following, the country woke up to a series of high-magnitude earthquakes, in the magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.5. Central and southeastern Turkey was hit severely by these. Lives of around 15 million people, many members of already disadvantaged minority groups including Kurds, Arabs, and immigrants, have changed forever.
The heavy winter conditions impact the search and rescue efforts severely. Initial reports indicate that many people either lost their lives or are still under the rubble, and thousands were left homeless in cold weather conditions or cannot enter their homes. Despite the incremental weather, search and rescue teams continue. It is also among the information that some districts were completely destroyed. There is still no news from thousands of people.
It is reported that many lawyers, including those who are members of Maras, Hatay, Antep, Diyarbakir, Urfa, Adana, Adiyaman, and Osmaniye Bar Associations, and their families have suffered from serious loss of lives, homes, and workspaces among others. There are many who are under rubble waiting to be rescued.
As a response to this catastrophe, the Union of Bar Association of Turkey (TBB) has started a campaign in support of efforts aiming at providing relief to the lawyers’ community and their families. We have been in contact with them on this initiative and would like to support their efforts by undertaking the task of conveying this call abroad on their behalf.
The TBB started a donation campaign that enables the organisation to accept donations from abroad. Please see the details below. We would like to draw your attention to this important campaign and ask for your and your organisations’ kind consideration of support and mobilization.
The donations will be made directly to the TBB’s Turkey-based USD and Euro accounts, there will be a wire fee. We, therefore, encourage your organisations or network to coordinate the efforts and, if possible, to create a point of collection through which the donations could be made without many hurdles and unnecessary costs. As such donation campaigns are subject to official approval and time limits, the TBB will be able to accept donations to these accounts until the deadline of 15 March 2023, 17:00 pm (Turkey time).
We would also appreciate it if you could let us know of your actions so we can inform the TBB accordingly and ensure a safe receipt on Turkey’s end.
No need to say that any support, regardless of the amount, will count. Please mobilise, support, and help us spread the word.
With gratitude and solidarity.
Ayse Bingol Demir & Ceren Uysal
Here is the necessary info for donations:
The Name of the Bank: DENİZBANK
Branch of the Bank: BALGAT BRANCH
Name of the Account Holder: T. BAROLAR BİRLİĞİ BAŞKANLIĞI [Please be sure that the name is written correctly and as it is written here]
Swift Code: DENITRIS134