ISU student with Turkish heritage watching earthquake recovery efforts

AMES — Rescuers continue their search for the missing from last week’s earthquake in Turkey and Syria with more than 30,000 already dead.

Iowa State University student Burak Agun  was born in the U-S to Turkish parents and has been watching the ongoing rescue efforts in his homeland.  “Very heartbreaking to see the amount of lives lost,” he says.

Agun’s parents live in Istanbul and he is grateful his relatives escaped injury from the quake. “Most of my relatives were not near the earthquake, thankfully but they were telling me about how the efforts are ongoing and it’s taking a heavy toll,” he says, “as right now it’s snowy and it’s very cold climate in the region. And people even if they’re saved from the earthquake they are having to deal with the outside environment of snow does freezing to freezing temperatures and trying to find a safe place to stay warm and not die from like the weather conditions.”

Agun is a freshman and says he is grateful for the support from the Iowa State community. “The Turkish community here is very strong so I can turn around and see people who I can talk to about it express my feelings and just look at how to make the situation better for the people there,” he says. “Friends here that are not Turkish have been very supportive and caring and faculty are very good and understanding of the situation and trying to cater and help as much as possible.”

The American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders have established ways to donate to the victims of the quake on their respective websites.