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    Posted December 12, 2013 by

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    We stand in solidarity with Van!


    We are in New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, San Diego, Oslo, Amsterdam, Istanbul and Bursa. We stand in solidarity with the 2011 earthquake survivors in Van.



    Two massive earthquakes and over 10,000 aftershocks struck the city of Van in eastern Turkey in October-November 2011, resulting in 644 casualties and over 10,000 displaced persons.[1] The families that sought shelter in container homes have been struggling for three years since the quakes, and now, they are even forced to evacuate their containers in the middle of Van's fierce winter. Their basic human needs have yet to be met; their electricity and water are cut, their children are deprived of school, and none of their proposed solutions are heard. Their resort to hunger strikes affirms how helpless the Van victims really are.



    We hear their voices and we echo their demands:

    1. Stop the forced evacuation of the container homes and provide the right to shelter for all!

    2. Provide basic living necessities such as electricity and water!

    3. Provide affordable housing and long term solutions for low-income and poor families! 4. Determine and meet the needs of every family having to live in containers!


    The conditions of life in the container homes do not fit in any good conscience. As forums in the USA, we stand together with the people of Van and demand that our citizens' needs be heard and immediately met!




    We are self-organized discussion forums in the USA that are facilitated by volunteers and concerned citizens who are interested in the latest developments in Turkey. We've been observing the ongoing struggle of the 2011 Van earthquake survivors in eastern Turkey with much. Although it's been two years, we realize the situation of the families living in trailer (container) cities since the disaster has not improved, it is getting worse by the day. We wanted to stand in solidarity with the people who are struggling to stay alive in Van and started an aid campaign "Support Earthquake Victims in Van" back on October 17, 2013. We invited our friends and other forums in the USA to get involved. We were able to have our aid delivered to the trailer city through some graduate students at Koc University in Turkey as part of our extended network.


    Yet soon after we found out that people living in the trailer city in Van are facing eviction without securing their right to shelter. We issued a press release and edited a video to create public opinion to stop the evictions and announce their demands to a wider audience. We launched a social media campaign asking people to send a video of themselves where the finish the sentence "I stand in solidarity with Van...". We received numerous videos from the USA and Europe, which we urgently would like to circulate in social media.


    The forums in the USA have been organizing academic panels, film screenings, art exhibitions and educational activities. Now we are echoing the demands of Van earthquake survivors.


    For video and posters in English/ Turkish please visit:


    Los Angeles Gezi Platform, New York City Students, Turkish American Gezi Platform (San Francisco), Rutgers University Forum, University Park Forum (Pennsylvania State University)


    NOT: We are not affiliated with any official organization.



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