King Charles is lending his support to earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.
The monarch spent his Valentine’s Day visiting with volunteers in London gathering donations to help out those affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that took place in the two countries last week. Charles struck a serious tone while speaking with various members of the West London Turkish Volunteers in Hounslow, who have been collecting food, blankets, and warm clothing and helping coordinate transportation of these essential items to the devastated region. The king then traveled to Trafalgar Square in central London where he debuted Syria’s House, a temporary tent set up to create a space where members of the local Syrian community can connect with one another and learn how they can support those affected by the earthquake. Once there, he also received a White Helmet from the Syria Civil Defense organization before popping by a kebab shop for lunch and meeting with members of the public who had gathered there to see him.
Immediately following the natural disaster on February 6, the royal also released an official statement, expressing that he and his wife Queen Consort Camilla were sending “thoughts and special prayers” to the people of those two countries. They also gave a donation to the U.K. Disasters Emergency Committee’s Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal. On February 9, the DEC issued a special thank you to the couple, tweeting, “Thank you to Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort for making a generous donation to the DEC Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal,” and adding that their money will go towards “providing medical aid, food, blankets and urgent aid to survivors.” The organization has raised $72 million for their efforts to date.
King Charles’s son Prince William and his wife Princess Kate also released their own statement regarding this terrible event. “We have been horrified to see the harrowing images coming out of Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the earthquakes this week,” they tweeted on February 9, re-sharing a plea from the DEC for donations. “Our thoughts are with the communities affected and we are pleased to support the @decappeal campaign which will aid the response on the ground.”
The death toll from this natural disaster has now topped 35,000, per NBC News, and is still expected to climb. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the event “the disaster of the century” during a visit to the Coordination Center of the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, adding on a hopeful note, “Just as we quickly recovered and rebuilt the disaster areas in Van, Bingöl, İzmir, Manavgat, Muğla, the flooded areas, Kastamonu, etc., rest assured that we will inshallah do the same here. Our nation will overcome this disaster, just as we have always done.”
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