News ID: 112450
Publish Date : 14 February 2023 - 21:59

Clothing Donations for Quake Victims Torched in Germany

BERLIN (Dispatches) -- Clothing donations for earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey worth thousands of dollars were set alight in a suspected arson attack in the German city of Recklinghausen.
Video footage online showed arsonists breaking into a supermarket where all the clothes had been stored and burning the clothes collected by volunteers.
Vijay Raj, who runs the Ani supermarket where the incident occurred, told local media that his supermarket had received a lot of clothing donations and money for earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey.
“Our dreams of donating these clothes and funds were shattered when two young boys of European descent came into the supermarket and set it on fire,” said Raj.
“We also found two Turkish flags that we had hung thrown into the flames and burnt with the donation.”
When asked by reporters how the community reacted, Raj said: “We were all very sad. Some of us cried because we spent hours arranging the donations and putting together care packages.”
“But because we are a community, people came together after the fire to salvage what we can and thank God the arsonists didn’t reach this back section where we had already packed some packages.”
Raj said he is no longer accepting any material donations and asked people to give him cash instead to pass on to charities on the ground.
Germany is home to 2.9 million Turks, with more than half holding Turkish nationality.
About 924,000 Syrians also live in Germany after former German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the borders to refugees in 2015 and 2016.
At least five survivors were rescued on Tuesday from the rubble of earthquake-hit areas of Turkey, local media reported, eight days after worst quake in the country’s modern history.
A woman and a man were pulled out from the ruins in the southern city of Hatay some 204 hours after the quake hit the region and parts of northwest Syria, Turkish media said.
Earlier on Tuesday, an 18-year-old named Muhammed Cafer was rescued from the rubble of a building in southern Turkey some 198 hours after last Monday’s earthquake, broadcaster CNN Turk said.
Cafer could be seen moving his fingers as he was carried away.
A short while earlier, rescue workers pulled two brothers alive from the ruins of an apartment block in neighboring Kahramanmaras province.
State-owned Anadolu news agency identified them as 17-year-old Muhammed Enes Yeninar and his brother, 21-year-old Baki Yeninar, who was rescued after him.
They were both placed in ambulances and taken to hospital. Their condition was unclear.
The combined death toll in Turkey and neighboring Syria from the disaster now exceeds 37,000.