Turkey-Syria Earthquake: Statement

Read our full statement on the Turkey-Syria Earthquake. We stand completely in support with our students and our thoughts are with everyone affected


Trigger Warning: This statement contains content which may be distressing for some individuals, including mention of a large Humanitarian Disaster and those affected.

As many of you may know, the people of Syria and Turkey are currently facing unprecedented devastation as a result of a large-scale Earthquake. At the time of writing (9th Feb), this disaster has taken the lives of over 17,000 individuals across Turkey and Syria, and many thousands more injured or displaced from their homes and livelihood, with this number expected to rise.

This geographical region had not had a major earthquake for more than 200 years, and this event had no significant pre-warning signs, so the level of preparedness was far less than in a region typically used to dealing with tremors.The design of buildings in the area, and that the  earthquake occurred at night, meant that more people were inside and sleeping when it hit. These factors all accumulated to cause a serious loss of life and property. 

Search and rescue operations continue, but are in their early stages as many people are still trapped under collapsed buildings and wreckage. 

At Queen Mary, we have a large community of students from Turkey and Syria, and many other students will also have connections with the region through family and friends. We know that events occurring worldwide have a deep impact on many of our community of Students, Staff and Alumni. 

Queen Mary Students’ Union stands completely in support with these students and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this disaster.

We understand that this ongoing situation is a distressing and uncertain time for many students who are worried about family, friends and loved ones in and around Turkey and Syria. If you are affected in any way, please reach out to the Queen Mary Advice and Counseling service for further support, further information and useful links can be found below.

The Students’ Union is also supporting several student-led fundraising initiatives to raise funds for those affected by the disaster, and we thank everyone involved in volunteering their time in this activity. Further details of fundraising activity taking place and how you can get involved can be found in the fundraising section below.

For more information on the disaster, please follow the sources below:



Your Executive Officers - Radhika, Adi, Saynab, Jojo, Muneer & Charlie

Useful links
  • University support for students affected by earthquakes in Turkey & Syria - view here

  • Advice and Counselling Service: confidential and professional support. Students can contact the service directly or request to speak to a Welfare Advisor or Counsellor. Counsellors can offer in-person or online appointments, which can be requested online. Specialist advice is also provided on a range of practical issues, including money and student immigration permission. Find out more

  • Financial Assistance Fund: funding available to help students who are experiencing financial hardship. Find out more

  • Queen Mary International advice blog

  • Academic Advice Service: independent, free and confidential advice and representation open to all Queen Mary students on a range of academic issues. Find out more

  • Multi-Faith Chaplaincy: students and staff can also access support from Queen Mary’s Multi-Faith Chaplaincy which is open to all staff and students. Find out more


Fundraising Events

The Students’ Union is also supporting several student-led fundraising initiatives to raise funds for those affected by the disaster, and we thank everyone involved in volunteering their time in this activity. If you’d like to contribute to charities providing aid to those affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria then here are some suggestions:

  • Turkish Society and our Mile End RAG Officer have chosen to fundraise for West London Turkish Volunteers. You can donate to this charity’s fund online here. Turkish Society are also planning fundraising events on campus which includes a bake sale in Library Square on 15 and 16 February from 10am-4pm. To keep up to date on their plans, or to get involved with their activity, follow them on Instagram on @qmturksoc
  • Kurdish Society are fundraising for Heyva Sor. You can donate to this charity here.
  • Skate Society will be running a Bake Sale in Library Square on 21 February from 11am-4pm to raise money for Islamic Relief UK - Turkey & Syria Earthquake Relief.
  • BL ISOC are raising money Turkey Mosaik Foundation’s Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund. You can donate online here.
  • QM4Uyghur Society are having a bake sale in Library Square on Friday, 24 February, from 11.30am-4pm to raise money for Ummah Welfare Trust.

Alternatively, direct donations can be made to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal here.

Details of any further student fundraising events will be released on our social media @qmsu and via our website at www.qmsu.org soon. 

If you’re a society or club also looking to fundraise, please fill in the Adopt a Charity form and we will reach out to support you.


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