‘I would like to bring all the family … they are suffering’

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AN Islander with family living in earthquake-stricken Turkey is continuing to send aid to those affected by the disaster in his home town.

Turkish Delight Takeaway owner Cuma Dagilan (42) has returned to Jersey after helping to relocate his family away from the earthquake’s epicentre in Pazarcik. He helped them to move by renting a van and driving his relatives for 18 hours to safety in Antalya.

Last week, Mr Dagilan arranged for a lorry to take dried foods and warm clothes to Pazarcik, where his brother and sister remain.

‘They are not OK, but they are surviving. How can they be good? They have no house; they live in a tent. I finally managed to get them one tent,’ Mr Dagilan said.

Cuma Dagilan at the Turkish Delight Takeaway. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (35324042)

The tent, which he bought for £1,200, currently houses eight members of his extended family who stayed in Pazarcik, but Mr Dagilan explained that it was not unusual for between ten and 15 people to sleep there, with the family sharing the space with others in need.

On Monday, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck the city of Malatya, which is a one-hour drive from Pazarcik. Mr Dagilan said that those living in his home town could feel the quake.

He said: ‘I don’t have that much power to help people there. I have my family there; I need to look after them and I need to pay my mortgage [here] and look after my business.

‘I spent as much as I can, but it’s not enough really. I am receiving [money] from people here … we have really good people in Jersey.’

Mr Dagilan explained he intended to arrange for a second lorry to drive from Antalya to Pazarcik to deliver food and clothes to the region.

He added: ‘My friend and family know a wholesaler in Antalya. It’s expensive – I need to go to the factory to buy it [food] cheaper.


‘I’m helping everyone there, if I know them or don’t know them … that’s why I’m sending dry food especially, such as pasta, rice, oil, tomato purée. You can’t buy vegetables as they will go off.

‘There are some bad people that want to make prices high … that’s why I want to get food from a factory.’

Today, Mr Dagilan is planning to speak to a member of Jersey’s Customs and Immigration department to discuss how he could bring family members to the Island.

‘I want to bring my mother and father. I would like to bring all the family, but I don’t have space and I need to speak with them. It’s better to bring them all because they are suffering,’ he said.

Turkish and Syrian nationals require a visa to visit or relocate to Jersey.

Mr Dagilan is continuing to raise funds for those affected by the earthquakes and has raised £2,485 so far.

Islanders can donate via: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cuma-dalan.

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