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Turkish TV channels raise billions for quake victims in marathon telecast

Eight Turkish television channels have raised more than $6 billion during an aid drive for survivors of last week’s devastating earthquakes that hit 11 provinces affecting millions of people.

The channels ATV, FOX, Kanal D, Kanal 7, Show TV, Star TV, TRT 1 and TV8 ran a live joint broadcast on Wednesday for the campaign called “Türkiye One Heart.”

The campaign managed to generate more than $6.1 billion (115.1 billion Turkish liras). More than nine million SMS text messages of donation were sent. 

Speaking at the transmission by phone, Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that every penny collected would be used for the welfare of the victims. 

He hoped the drive would collect an unprecedented amount of donations, adding similar campaign would also be launched in Azerbaijan and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

The joint broadcast brought together leading culture, art, business, and sports figures to support the earthquake victims.

Popular TV stars from these channels urged the public to make donations to the Turkish disaster management agency AFAD and Turkish Red Crescent for the aid drive, which started at 1700GMT.

READ MORE: Outpouring of support from international celebrities after twin quakes

Banks, airlines join campaign 

Different public and private sector organisations like banks and airlines as well as individuals contributed during the live campaign.

More than 35,400 people were killed and 105,500 injured by two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye on February 6, according to the latest official figures.

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 tremors last week were centred in Kahramanmaras and struck ten other provinces – Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa and Elazig. More than 13 million people have been affected by the devastating quakes.

In neighbouring Syria, at least 5,814 people were killed and over 14,749 injured.

READ MORE: Türkiye quakes ‘exceptional natural phenomenon’: President Erdogan

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