In the early hours of Monday, 6 February, the Gaziantep province in south-eastern Turkey was hit by one of the strongest earthquakes of the century, registering a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale. This was followed by a series of aftershocks, with the largest registering a magnitude of 7.5, roughly nine hours later. The earthquakes caused extensive damage in Turkey and northern Syria. As rescue efforts continue in both countries, the number of confirmed deaths is expected to increase, with the current death toll surpassing 12,000.
The impact on the populations concerned, including those engaged in cotton production and processing, has been devastating. Better Cotton Farmers and Programme Partners are among the victims, and many Members – including ginners, spinners and traders – are based in the affected areas.
Better Cotton extends its deepest expression of sympathy, solidarity, and support to the victims and to the cotton growing and processing communities in Turkey and Syria and to the staff of our partners in the region, including IPUD, the Good Cotton Practices Association, our Strategic Partner in Turkey.
We are gathering information on the extent of the impact on Better Cotton farming communities and will be able to share more information with our members and stakeholders in the coming weeks. Better Cotton is looking at ways to support the Better Cotton community in affected areas.
In the meantime, for Better Cotton Members, and our wider network, looking to support humanitarian and relief efforts, please consider contributing to the following organisations: Search and Rescue Association AKUT, Turkish Red Crescent or International Rescue Committee (IRC).