Türkiye (MNN) — Last February’s historic earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria claimed nearly 56,000 lives and displaced millions more. The quakes razed entire communities to the ground, and thousands of buildings were destroyed or severely damaged.

Church partners set up a temporary shelter in a sports arena in Türkiye.
(Photo courtesy of Transform Iran)

Transform Iran was one of the first groups to respond, helping hundreds of Iranian Christian refugees in Türkiye. More about that here.

“We were one of the few that were given access to one of the hardest-hit places,” says Transform Iran’s Lana Silk.

“We took 10 tons of food and hygiene supplies, clothing, and blankets to our immediate vicinity.”

Tremendous needs remain today. “It’s a monumental task that the government has to rebuild after such a big hit,” Silk says.

“Quite a few different sociopolitical elements at play make the situation untenable. There are still buildings broken into rubble that’s not even been cleared, let alone thinking about foundation work or replacement,” she continues.

“Christian refugees are being forced into uninhabitable living situations. Our group has families who aren’t using gas or electricity [so they can save] money, having to wear warm clothing to survive, not having three meals a day.”

Deportation is a daily threat as pressure mounts on the Turkish government to expel refugees.

“We have people who will suddenly get told, ‘Oh, actually, we’re going to deport you, and you have 24 hours’ notice.’ This is becoming a common experience for our people, and they get sent to deportation camps,” Silk says.

“The husband of one of our couples had a stroke right there in their offices because the stress of that news is intense.”

Click here for practical ways to help your brothers and sisters in Christ through Transform Iran.

“Could you go without a weekly coffee and support a family in need? The same dollars go so much further in a place like Türkiye, and these families are in great need,” Silk says.


Header image depicts damages from the February 2023 earthquakes in Turkiye. Photo courtesy of Horizons International.