FSU students raising funds to help in aftermath of Turkey earthquake

After a devastating earthquake in Turkey, some FSU students are stepping in to help.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 10:49 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - After a devastating earthquake in Turkey, some FSU students are stepping in to help.

Gizem Solmaz-Ratzlaff is one of several who organized a GoFundMe to help friends who were hit hardest by the disaster.

“All of our Turkish friends both in the United States and in Turkey, our hearts are with them, our prayers are with them and we are doing as much as we can do to support them right now,” Ratzlaff said.

Ratzlaff’s family lives in an area that wasn’t directly impacted, but several of her friends have lost their homes. Some have lost loved ones.

“I went back to my old memories and, you know, knowing that hopelessness at that moment,” Ratzlaff said.

Ratzlaff was 8 years old and living in Turkey when the country was hit with another devastating earthquake back in 199.

“I had to see as a child you know, so many people dead, so many people lost their homes, families,” she said.

When Ratzlaff found out about the recent earthquake, all those memories came flooding back.

One FSU alum, Alician Karaer, is still waiting to hear from some of his family.

“My family who lives in Hatay, the southeast part of Turkey, I couldn’t reach out to them because there was no electricity,” Karaer said. “There was no cellular power, no nothing.

Karaer said one of his cousins and her 10-year-old daughter were in an apartment building when it collapsed. He’s hoping and praying they’ll be rescued in time.

“I’m just, I can’t sleep I can’t eat,” Karaer said. “Just knowing that people over there are suffering.

Karaer said it’s going to be difficult to recover from this, but he has faith in the strength of his country.

“Turkey is a strong country,” he said. “I know that those people are very strong.”

Ratzlaff is also sending letters of emotional support to her friends in Turkey. She encourages anyone who wants to write a message to send her an email at gsolmaz@fsu.edu.