Istanbul Armenians kick off aid campaign for Syria victims

The Armenian community in Istanbul has initiated two aid campaigns aiming to help the Armenian victims of the conflicts in Syria, the Hürriyet Daily News reports.

The first campaign, organized by Şinorhik Altun, the wife of Tower Travel Aviation owner Dikran Altun, has drawn a great deal of interest, as has the second campaign, initiated by Turkey’s Armenian Patriarchate. The Turkish Red Crescent will distribute the aid collected by the Patriarchate.

Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News on the campaign, Arsen Arşık, an academic at Boğaziçi University and one of the organizers of the movement, said many Armenians in Istanbul have shown great support to the campaign.

“Monetary aid was not accepted since the campaign is a civil initiative. Only clothes have been collected so far. The Patriarchate was also informed about this. The aim was to help the thousands of Syrian Armenians who sought asylum in Armenia. However, since we had difficulties in finding new storage [for the aid], we had to end the campaign,” Arşık said.

Arşık said Armenian airline company Armavia transferred a total of 60 parcels of aid to Yerevan over a very short course of time. “This campaign could be regarded as a historic civil move by Istanbul Armenians. Thanks to this campaign, Istanbul’s Armenian community experienced the joy of helping their brothers in the Diaspora,” Arşık said, adding that the Patriarchate also opened a bank account for the aid program.

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