A 20-year-old student has made it his mission to round up Nottinghamshire charities to support as many people as possible in Turkey.

Serhat Balta has spent three weeks loading lorries full of donations, making and selling Turkish delicacies and held a charity concert featuring a band playing Turkish and Kurdish music.

One event alone raised £2,000 which is worth over 45,000 Turkish lira or 12,000 litres of water in Turkey.

The student is president of the Turkish Society at Nottingham Trent University and has so far collaborated with local Turkish businessmen and the Nottinghamshire Turkish Community to send aid directly to those affected by the earthquakes.

“It’s not just up to the people in Turkey, it has to be a national and even international response”
Serhat balta, Nottingham Trent Turkish Society President 

Balta also managed to forge an alliance with Nottingham Trent University’s traditional, local rival, the University of Nottingham.

They worked together to round up and package donations whilst other society members baked Turkish delight, traditional vine leaves filled with rice and meat and a Turkish apple pie known as Elmali Kurabiye to sell across campus.

The Turkish Society President said everyone should do their bit regardless of where they are from: “It’s not just up to the people in Turkey, it has to be a national and even international response,” said Balta.

Video: Turkish Society president at Nottingham Trent University, Serhat Balta, says everyone has a responsibility to help

The devastation from the first earthquake on February 6, 2023 stretched over 300 miles, including Balta’s home town of Elbistan where his family managed to escape.

Balta says that there is a reason why so many people have felt urged to act: “The south-east of Turkey is where a lot of people emigrated, not only to the UK but across the world.

“So for a lot of Turkish people in the UK or Europe, [south-east Turkey] that is their home city so it has affected a lot of people,”, he said.

Latest from Turkey as of February 28, 2023:

  • The death toll has reached 44,218 in Turkey and 5,914 in Syria.
  • Over 170,000 buildings in Turkey are reported as collapsed or severely damaged by the government in Turkey.
  • The Disaster Emergency Committee has received £100 million in donations in a fortnight.
  • Close to 240,000 rescue workers are working through the aftermath.
  • 1.9 million people are taking refuge in temporary shelters.

Balta says he would not have had such success without the help of venues, students and the general public: “It’s amazing to see a lot of students donating and the university providing us spaces, I’m happy,”, said Balta.

All the money he helps raise is being given to the Nottingham Turkish Community who are sending money directly to friends and family affected in Turkey.