Türkiye and Syria were shaken by two major earthquakes on February 6, 2023. TV celebrities, musicians and athletes have come forward to offer help.

Celebrities from around the world have joined efforts to raise funds and awareness for the survivors of the February 6 earthquakes, which left tens of thousands of people dead in Türkiye. 

The two back-to-back earthquakes, which also caused devastation in northern Syria, have forced people to take shelter in relief camps and rely on aid from Ankara and non-profit organisations. 

Celebrities who have followers in the thousands or millions have increased the visibility of the disaster, asking for donations on behalf of the earthquake victims.

At the start of the second annual TIME100 Impact Awards and Gala, taking place at Dubai’s Museum of the Future on February 12, 2023, participants honoured the victims with a moment of silence.

 Actor and model Sabrina Dhowre Elba spoke of the “urgent need of the people in Syria and Turkey,” calling the aftermath of the earthquake “heartbreaking” at the awards ceremony. 

“We all know what’s happening, we keep them in our prayers, and there are many ways to help. So please do what you can. May Allah grant them Jannah [paradise],” she said.

In a Twitter message, Spanish actor Antonio Banderas asked the survivors to stay strong in the face of “tragedy that has struck them over the last few hours”.

Pakistani celebrities also took to social media as they heard about the disaster, posting messages of solidarity with Türkiye and Syria.

Turkish football player Merih Demiral, who plays for the Italian club Atalanta and the Turkish national team, has mobilised fundraising by asking fellow athletes to donate signed jerseys that can be auctioned off.

Demiral said he was glad to count on help from “Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Serie A counterparts Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala, who offered signed jerseys that will be auctioned off with proceeds donated to a nonprofit aiding earthquake disaster relief,” the Washington Post reported.

Demiral’s efforts have expanded with the addition of Atletico Madrid stars Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata, as well as Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane and teammate Dejan Kulusevski.

As of last Friday, February 10 2023, the list of donors had increased: “Manchester City standouts Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne; Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard; and Paris Saint-Germain stars Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe … Ronaldo’s jersey, which is now sold, fetched the highest bid at around $212,450.”

English actor Orlando Bloom has also taken to social media, posting a plea on Instagram to his 6.4 million followers asking for support for UNICEF.

“My heart breaks for everyone affected by the devastating earthquake in Syria and Türkiye. @unicef is on the ground responding to the needs of thousands of families and children,” the actor wrote, providing a link to the international aid organisation for donations.

Prefacing his video with “Merhaba”, greeting his audience in Turkish, president and head coach of NBA’s San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich has said he would donate to Darussafaka Association, a Turkish institution that takes in orphaned children and provides them with an education.

American pop icon Madonna has taken to Instagram, posting a popular picture of a Greek search and rescue worker hugging a Turkish child. Madonna has called out to her 18.8 million followers to donate to a Turkish NGO.

Metal music legends Metallica have announced that they have contributed $125,000 each to Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen, organisations offering medical supplies and warm meals to earthquake survivors.

Türkiye’s Korean friends have also been active in earthquake response, with celebrities donating thousands of dollars from their personal wealth to charities such as the Korean Red Cross, Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association, Korean Committee for UNICEF, Community Chest of Korea and other NGOs working with Turkish authorities.

Singer and actor Jennifer Lopez, football star David Beckham and singer Shakira also shared UNICEF’s plea to help children cope with the aftermath of the disaster in their Instagram stories.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies