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MSU Turkish Student Association fundraising for earthquake relief

MSU Turkish Student Association president Hasan Bayhan, left, takes a photo with his family.
Hasan Bayhan
MSU Turkish Student Association president Hasan Bayhan, left, takes a photo with his family.

Michigan State University’s Turkish Student Association is fundraising to support relief efforts in Turkey.

The earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria Monday has killed thousands of people. Many have been displaced by the disaster, and a rapid search is underway for people trapped in the rubble.

Hasan Bayhan is the president of the MSU Turkish Student Association. He said the devastation reached a 320-mile radius, almost as far as from Lansing to Pittsburgh.

Bayhan and his peers are doing their best to keep in touch with their loved ones in Turkey.

“Unfortunately, we're hearing bad news about some of our acquaintances," Bayhan said. "So it's just, you know, every single day, we're assessing the situation, and it's hard every single day.”

Bayhan's organization is raising money to help those in need. He said any amount of support can provide relief to the Turkish people who've been affected by the quake.

“Even five dollars is going to change a lot for those people over there," Bayhan said. "Because with five dollars, they can actually get a meal for a day. And these days are very important for them to survive in the cold.”

He adds the organization is also coordinating with other groups to obtain matching funds that would double any relief donations it receives.

Bayhan says he’s heard from community members at MSU who want to support relief efforts abroad. He recommends checking with the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. for information about what resources and humanitarian organizations need support.

The MSU Turkish Student Organization also plans to gather at school's International Center building Friday evening to generate further ideas for raising relief funds.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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