‘We are all united.’ Paterson steps up to support Turkey and Syria after earthquake kills thousands

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh says he has made calls and plans to do everything he can to help those in Turkey after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed thousands on Monday.

News 12 Staff

Feb 6, 2023, 6:08 PM

Updated 533 days ago

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A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria on Monday, killing more thousands. Officials say the focus now shifts to search and rescue efforts.
Paterson is a community with strong ties to both Turkey and Syria. In fact, Paterson has the largest Turkish community in the United States.
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh has made calls and plans to do everything he can to help those in Turkey.
“I called the council general, the Turkish council general, and he needs help with rescue efforts. There’s people still stuck under rubble so we don’t want that death toll to climb,” Sayegh said.
“Paterson is the largest Turkish community in the United States,” Turkish ambassador Huseyin Bayram said. “There’s so many people, different cultures living here together, and we are all united.”
It's been an all-hands on deck effort reaching out to local churches, conversations with the Turkish ambassador out of Washington, D.C., and waiting on approval from the governor’s office to receive authorization on the mission.
Sayegh says given the city's extensive Turkish and Syrian communities; they need to do what they can to support people in the state who have families in dire need.
“People are so proud of where they’re from. They are happy to be here in the United States of America, but they go home, in the summer or whenever time is available” Sayegh said. “And so what are they going to go home to? And when they go home are family members still going to be there? So, it adversely impacts all of us.”


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