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I have not been up to my eyes in nappies for over 20 years…………Don’t worry, they are not for me. They have been generously donated for the earthquake victims of Van.

The people of Van this week will be slightly more comfortable due to the efforts of kind hearts from all corners of Turkey.

Within hours of the quake the popular social network Facebook (and other internet forums) were flooded with messages, photos and videos showing the horrific outcome of a massive 7.2 quake that literally destroyed the town of Ercis within the province of Van, close to the Iranian border.

Whenever Mother Nature strikes, you can be sure Human Nature will show its true colours and rally round in support knowing ‘There but for the grace of God go I’.

There is nothing quite like the human spirit in times of crises, when the everyday, man on the street becomes the hero. He may not fly through the air to the disaster site but you can bet that the coat on his back will soon be keeping a victim of the disaster from freezing to death. That in my eyes, is just as heroic.

The internet was literally flooded with appeals for aid. Despite what was being reported in the news, the people took it upon themselves to collect warm clothing and blankets to be sent as quickly as possible.

Of course human nature is not always as pleasant and some of the responses were downright ignorant. Van is predominately a Kurdish area and as such, there were a few comments from Turkish people saying that as Van was a known PKK area, the Earthquake was Gods punishment on the people for the killing of soldiers last week.  This just reinforces their ignorance as regardless of which province you are born in, a native of Turkey in what is considered a ‘Kurdish’ area, is still drafted into the army and the Turkish army is made up of both Turks and Kurds. In other words, if the PKK are a ‘Kurdish’ Terrorist group, then they are killing their own.

Saying that all Kurdish people are PKK supporters is like saying all Irish people supported the IRA during the troubles. It’s pathetic, ridiculous and goes to prove some people are not as educated as they like to think they are.  Our nationality, the colour of our skin and our beliefs are first and foremost a matter of geography. For anyone that can’t see past that, well, shame on them.

Apart from that, we are all human beings, all the same and all entitled to the respect of the rest of our species. OK, that’s my rant over.

Let’s end on a positive note shall we………After a combined effort between The fabulous people of Didim and Ugur Orgnanizsyon, in just 24 hours, resulted in a Van load of goods for Van, transported for free courtesy of MNG Cargo.

At the time of writing it’s more than likely these will have arrived where needed. The collections continue and drop off points in Didim are Ugur Organisation, Didim Beach Homes, Travelite, Delicious Cafe and Apollon Holiday Village in Mavisehir.

The temperatures in Van are dropping by the day, many people have lost everything including family in the quake and currently have no shelter.  Not only have they lived through a traumatic disaster, they now have to face the real possibility of freezing to death.

It has been reported today that Turkey will now be accepting help from Israel in the form of mobile homes and tents. Insallah, they are already on their way.

We will keep doing our small part here in Didim and I know my friends in Turgutreis and Fethiye are doing theirs. Wherever you are, if you can, please help in any way you can.

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