WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KRON) – A Walnut Creek woman is now raising funds for her family and others who have been affected by the earthquake in Turkey. She’s trying to relieve the pain and suffering of her loved ones thousands of miles away.
Her name is Sevgi Toprak, and her family and friends live in the hardest-hit region in Turkey. Like thousands of others, her family’s homes and cars were leveled and destroyed in Monday’s earthquake.
Now, despite being so far away – she’s to trying help in any way she can.
“Everyone lost everything. Our home, our cars… My family, my relatives. I lost some friends,” she told KRON4.
Thousands of miles away, Toprak’s family is without a home and struggling to find shelter as frigid temperatures grip the region. Communication between her and her family in Turkey has been also sparse because of widespread outages and technical issues.
With more than 20,000 people dead between Turkey and Syria, Toprak says the few conversations have been difficult to imagine.
“My sister telling me like the smell is terrible on the street. All dead bodies. People just laying in the street,” she said.
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Facing these extraordinary circumstances, Toprak is doing what she can for her mother, siblings, and six nephews trying to rebuild their lives. She’s been able to raise thousands of dollars through an online effort so far, but she’s calling on Turkey’s government to do more.
“They’re just trying to stay out of the street,” she said. “They need a home. I can’t do anything but I’m trying my best.”
Toprak is not sure when she will be able to get over to Turkey to see her family. The Hatay airport has suspended operations after its runway was significantly damaged by the earthquake. Information about Toprak’s fundraising effort can be found HERE.