I believe that we will overcome this difficult situation as we heal our wounds together

On February 6, we woke up to a morning with great pain. Pazarcık and Elbistan-centered earthquakes shook our country deeply, over 50 thousand of our citizens have lost their lives so far. As we struggled to save the people under the rubble, we have witnessed the desperation of parents waiting for their children to come out of the wreckage, as well as the children experiencing the greatest trauma of their lives. As we look at the faces shadowed by indescribable pain, we witnessed the efforts to hold on to life and as we experienced the destruction of the houses, we realized the meaning of tents in our lives. The painful results of this unfavourable and tough period may also open some doors to new opportunities. With every difficulty, there is relief, for every dark night, there is a brighter day. I believe that we will overcome this difficult situation as we heal our wounds together. As DEİK family, we planned the steps we need to take after the earthquake. In this process, as the FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS BOARD, we decided to carry out our activities under 3 main headings, which are fitting our name, based on the idea that it would be a more applicable strategy for every institution and organization
to use their strengths:

1- Creating container living spaces with the contributions of our members within the scope of short and medium-term efforts.

2- Establishing permanent structures by coordinating the assistance offers of our external stakeholders within the scope of medium-term efforts.

3- Contributing to the revival of employment in the region by utilizing opportunities such as foreign funds within the scope of medium and long-term efforts.

In this framework:

1- I made my first visit to the region in the week of the earthquake, both to determine the situation on the spot and to share the pain of our brothers and sisters to some extent. I have been regularly visiting the region since then. During my visits on the Kayseri line to Gökşin, Elbistan, Maraş, Besni, Adıyaman, then Malatya and other provinces, I personally experienced that it is not possible to heat in tents,
especially in areas such as Elbistan where the air temperature can drop to -15 degrees during the day and -25 degrees at night. In this context, we took the decision to establish the “DEİK Town” in Elbistan at the first stage. As of March 1, our containers started to be put in the region.

Planned to host 5 thousand earthquake victims, DEİK Container City, will include 1,000 containers, each 21 m² in size. Materials to meet the basic needs of a house, such as bathroom-toilet, kitchenette and refrigerator, mini-TV, double bed and extra single
bed, sofa bed, table-chair, pots, plates, cutlery, etc. fast heater, radiant heaters, and other items were provided in the container houses.

Aiming to heal the wounds of earthquake victims until the construction of permanent residences, DEİK Town covers an area of 80,000 m² and includes social areas, a health centre, playgrounds, sports fields, prayer rooms, and so on. We plan to deliver our DEİK Town at the end of April.

2- In line with the spirit of Business Diplomacy, we opened a separate account under the coordination of our committee, which will ensure communication with the foreign stakeholders of our Business Councils in the first stage, in order to be able to manage the aid requests sent to us and our members from abroad in an accurate and quick manner.

Also, in addition to the significant contacts it has made so far, our Committee has made and keeps making plans to create permanent “Smart Living Spaces” with the contributions of our foreign stakeholders through their visits to their countries.

3- Of course, long-term strategies for improving the sustainable economic structure of the region and normalizing social life are also very important. Besides our already mobilized domestic resources, we believe that directing foreign resources to the region in the right way is a vital task for us in this tough period.

We would like to thank everyone who contributed with their support. We wish the mercy of Allah on our citizens who lost their lives, and a quick recovery for our wounded. Together, we will heal our wounds.

We made our cover interview with Architect Celaleddin Çelik in this issue of our Business Diplomacy magazine, where we discuss the topic of “New Liveable Cities” in depth. Assoc. Prof. Ümit Ünver, Executive Director of Zerobuild Institute, shared his opinions on “Zero-Energy Buildings”. In the evaluations we made with valuable business people and scholars, we included opinions on critical issues such as humanitarian aid and legal processes in international projects.

Believing that we will heal our wounds together as soon as possible, I wish you blessings of Allah for Ramadan.