Geçmiş Olsun Türkiye: Get Well, Turkey

By Pelin Akin Özalp, Board Member, Akfen Holding
February 10, 2023

Update – February 21, 2023: Since this blog’s initial publication, another earthquake struck Turkey on February 20. The death toll from the initial earthquake is currently more than 41,000 people in Turkey and more than 5,000 in Syria, while the second quake has killed at least 3 people in Turkey and injured more than 200 others.

Like the rest of the world, I am grieving for the victims and surviving families of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6. One of the deadliest and most powerful earthquakes to hit the region in 100 years, the disaster has at the time I’m writing this already killed more than 22,000 people and injured more than 60,000, with these numbers continuing to rise.

This tragedy feels deeply personal. My family founded Akfen—a Turkish infrastructure holding company—in Ankara-Istanbul in 1976. Our mission is to generate value for all people while protecting our ecosystem through sustainable and inclusive economic development. We are passionate about serving our country and its people. When Turkey and its people suffer, we suffer. 

Akfen joined the Council for Inclusive Capitalism to advance our mission of creating wellbeing in the world and building a more inclusive and trustworthy socio-economic system, both now and in the future. Since the earthquake, we have been in contact with relevant authorities to offer support and aid throughout the region. We are providing assistance from each of our subsidiaries as well as through our holding company, with some of our staff on the ground to help. 

I have been moved by the extraordinary outpouring of grief and displays of support from across the world since the earthquake struck. For friends and members of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism who are interested in helping, here are several options: 

  • AKUT – Voluntary search, assist, and rescue organization (donate in TRY, EUR, and USD)
  • Ahbap – One of Turkey’s most active voluntary networks, operating in the affected regions (donate in TRY with credit card)
  • Ihtiyac Haritasi – Local NGO cooperating with EBRD and connecting individuals, corporations, and institutions who want to support those in need in Turkey
  • UNICEF – Providing on-the-ground support in both Syria and Turkey
  • UNHCR – Providing on the-ground support in both Syria and Turkey
  • Syrian American Medical Society – Providing life-saving medical care to people in Syria and neighboring countries
  • White Helmets – Searching for survivors and recovering the dead in Syria
  • American Turkish Society – Contributing $50,000 to its Turkey Relief Fund while collecting donations
  • Turkish Philanthropy Funds – Established Turkiye Earthquake Relief Fund and is collecting donations
  • Bridge to Türkiye Fund – Collecting donations for food, water, shelter, and children’s health and education

As a nation, we believe that we will heal our wounds by joining hands in unity and solidarity, both with our fellow citizens as well as with people throughout the world. 


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About Members

Pelin Akın Özalp began her career at Deutsche Bank Madrid after graduating from Surrey University in the United Kingdom. After a year at TAV Airports Holding, she moved to the Read More

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