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 have been busy fundraising, raising £2429.27. 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. Kurdish Society have raised £1239.62 for Heyva Sor. You can donate to this charity here.
  • Skate Society ran a Bake Sale, raising £197.71 for Islamic Relief UK - Turkey & Syria Earthquake Relief.
  • BL ISOC have run a couple of Bake Sales for One Nation, raising a total of £3985.89. BL ISOC continue to support Turkey Mosaik Foundation’s Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund. You can donate online here.
  • QM4Uyghur Society hosted a Bake Sale, raising an impressive £786.85 for Ummah Welfare Trust.

Well done to all the Student Groups who have put a huge amount of effort in to raise an impressive amount.

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.

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.


Recent News

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Mon 20 Nov 2023

On 20 November we remember the trans people who have been killed as a result of transphobia and acts of anti-t

A statement on recent developments within the crisis in Palestine and Israel

Fri 17 Nov 2023

A statement from the Executive Officers

New Students' Union spaces now open in The Garrod

Fri 17 Nov 2023

We're delighted to open several new spaces in The Garrod Building this week. Read more about the project and w

Sustainability Week 2023

Mon 06 Nov 2023

We're bringing you our annual Sustainability Week, from 13-17 November, in the lead-up to COP-28!

A Statement on the Crisis in Palestine and Israel

Tue 10 Oct 2023

The ongoing crisis in Palestine and Israel has been one that has concerned many of us. The incoming reports on

see more news