Posted: Tue 14th Feb 2023

North Wales businessman sets up fundraiser to aid earthquake victims in Kurdistan

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 14th, 2023

A North Wales businessman has returned from Turkey and set up a fundraiser to help the victims of a devastating earthquake in his homeland of Kurdistan.

Baris Cakmak was in Istanbul when the earthquake struck and was unable to travel back to his home city due to impassable roads.

The earthquake has caused widespread devastation in the Kurdish regions of Turkey and Syria, with a death toll currently estimated at 33,000 and fears that it could rise to 60-70,000.

Mr Cakmak’s home city was not as badly affected in terms of deaths, but buildings have been damaged and destroyed, and there are 20 million people without homes.

Mr Cakmak, who runs a chain of barber shops in Mold, Wrexham, Coedpoeth, and Chirk, said: “Like all the Kurdish and Turkish community here in Wales, I want to do something to help.”

This Saturday, all the takings from haircuts in his shops will be donated to the earthquake appeal.

Clothes and other donations have already been sent, but the quickest and most effective way to help survivors now is with money.

There are villages in Turkey and Syria that have not yet received any help and people have been left in the freezing cold with no shoes or coats. “It’s a desperate situation,” said Mr. Cakmak.

He is also planning for the longer term, and the appeal will run until he and his team are able to go to the region and provide support for survivors, especially children who have lost their parents.

Mr Cakmak is liaising with a local MP in Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkish Kurdistan, to try to get access to parts of war-torn Syria over the border.

Places like Afrim and Kobani have already experienced years of conflict and many people have been made homeless, making this earthquake a double blow.

They are not receiving any international aid due to the political situation, so Mr Cakmak is determined to help.

All of Mr Cakmak’s barbers’ shops have donation points for anyone wishing to support the earthquake appeal.

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