How To Help Istanbul Victims After The Ataturk Attack That Left Dozens Dead
After two deadly explosions shook Istanbul Atatürk Airport on Monday, the Turkish capital is receiving help from the international community. There are several ways you can contribute, too. They range anywhere from donating blood to the simple gesture of expressing solidarity with the victims. The attack on Europe's third busiest airport killed 41 people and injured at least 100 others. According to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, the bombers may have been affiliated with ISIS, making it the militant group's third and most deadly attack on Istanbul this year.
In a press conference that night, Prime Minister Yıldırım encouraged the nation to band together and remain strong. Though he was addressing his fellow Turkish citizens, his statement also highlights the importance of standing together as a world.
No matter where the terror comes from, our country is strong enough to fight against this terror. I call on every citizen to act in unity and stand by each other.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan echoed that call for unity, reminding the world that the attack happened during Muslims' holiest month. He focused on the nation's ongoing fight against ISIS, which is especially difficult for Turkey because it borders Syria.
The attack, which took place during the holy month of Ramadan, shows that terrorism strikes with no regard for faith and values. If states, as all humanity, fail to join forces and wage a joint fight against terrorist organizations, all the possibilities that we dread in our minds will come true one by one.
And though business as usual has continued in the Atatürk Airport, despite the terror that occurred just hours ago, Turkey's people will need time to heal and come to terms with the loss. Aside from addressing the threat posed by ISIS, however, there are ways we can help anyone who was emotionally or physically affected by the attack. Infrastructure can be rebuilt, but helping to reconstruct a sense of hope among Turkey's people is the more immediate cause.
Here's how you can help.
1) Donate Blood
The Turkish Red Crescent tweeted a comprehensive list of locations that anyone in or near Turkey can visit to donate blood. However, don't refrain from making an appointment just because you don't live in Turkey. There are people in need of blood in all areas around the world. Visit redcrossblood.org for more information.
2) Use Social Media To Speak Up
Expressing support through social media is a simple way to raise awareness about the attack. After Paris was bombed in November, an outpouring of positive messages were directed towards it. The same happened after the mass shooting in Orlando. Our reaction to Turkey's own tragedy shouldn't be any different. For the Turkish people, many of whom are Muslim, this attack struck during their most holiest month. Use #Istanbul or #PrayforTurkey.
3) Use Facebook Safety Check
If you know anyone traveling or in Turkey, mark them as "safe" on Facebook if you've had communication with them. Amidst the chaos, it's important to give families and friends peace of mind.
4) Visit the UN Victims Of Terrorism Support Portal
Taking a look at the un.org/victimsofterrorism page is one of the best ways to become informed on how the United Nations, as well as a nation's government, aids victims of terrorism. Additionally, the page aggregates responses from other nations and includes a list of countries that have been shaken by terrorism.
According to the site's homepage, the portal is "dedicated to and highlights the importance of those individuals across the globe that have been attacked, injured, traumatized or lost their lives during terrorist attacks."
5) Donate Money
When donating money to causes you care about, it's important to ensure the legitimacy of the website or organization. Some accredited ones include the Turkish Red Crescent Society, Direct Relief, and World Vision.
Image: Dawn Foster/Bustle