Embrace Relief in collaboration with Turkish Cultural Center New York (TCCNY) raised an aid of $30,000 for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan through donations of the Turkish community in the US. Members of involved associations visited Hon. Shigeyuki Hiroki, the Consul General of Japan in New York. Nevzat Yılmaz from Embrace Relief presented the collected sum to the Japanese official to show goodwill of the Turkish-American community by contributing to the relief efforts in Japan. Nevzat Yılmaz, Board Member of Embrace Relief said that Turkish people had sympathy for the Japanese people because of the common cultural and family bonds between two nations.
Also present at the meeting was Furkan Koşar, the president of the Council of Turkic American Associations (CTAA), he said the Turkish people have always extended help to those who are undergoing difficult times throughout history — regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. He reiterated the recent help movement by the Turkish-American community for the people of earthquake-hit Haiti. Currently, Turkish-Americans are building a hospital and a school in Haiti. “We organized Turkish-American doctors to provide first aid services and volunteers to serve hot meals for the victims after the earthquake. We are proud that the Turkish-American were the first to serve hot meals three times a day,” he said.
The President of TCCNY Zafer Akın talked about the friendship between the peoples of Japan and Turkey throughout the history. He recalled the dispatch of the Ertuğrul frigate in 1876 to establish a friendly bond between the Ottoman Empire and Japan. He said that Turkish people have always stood by the Japanese people and the TCCNY is happy to help the people to recover from the affects of the tragedy of the natural disasters that put the Pacific nation out on a limb on March 11, 2011. Mehmet Kılıç, the vice-president of the TCCNY, said Turks felt the sorrows of the Japanese people since they had faced a similar tragedy with a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in 1999 where more than 17,000 people were killed.
Sakir Keskin, the Executive Director of Turkish Cultural Center Westchester gave brief information about the fundraiser event held in Westchester. TCC Westchester gathered the community for a bake-sale fundraiser event where many communities participated to help the people of Japan. Many elected officials attended the event, which was aired by WAFS 103.9 in Westchester area for two hours.
Gift & Check presented to Hon. Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul General of Japan by Members of the Turkish-American Community.