“Our logistics manager in Turkey also happens to be a procurement manager. He works for us part-time, and his full-time job is that he does procurement for Syrian refugee camps. He secures aid from regional suppliers using donations from around the globe. He’s an expert at this. I said, ‘Let’s get this going as quickly as possible. How can we?’ He said ‘I’ve got it.’ He’s been working to buy blankets, heaters, sleeping bags, tents, and more.”
To date, the Sabah community has raised over $110,000, and they are able to see it being applied in real time from across the Atlantic. A man named Oğuzhan Çakıroğlu, who runs Sabah’s workshop in Gaziantep and whom Ashmore has known since he was a teenager, has been driving to the hardest hit villages to distribute supplies directly. Ergin Eryetgin, a local designer who is a friend of Ashmore and the Sabah team’s, has been doing the same. Their images are included here.
Ashmore knows the road ahead is long, and that, to some degree, the worry of earthquakes in the tectonically volatile region was always present. “We actually felt an earthquake on Friday while we were having our final meeting in the workshop,” he says. “We were nervous–there’s been an understanding that a big earthquake was overdue in Turkey. It’s disaster relief now, in the ways we can, but then it will be a longer period of rebuilding and recovery.”