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August 22, 1999
Dear Friend,

As you know, a major earthquake has hit the industrial heart of Turkey causing the death of thousands and the destruction of property worth billions of dollars. The infrastructure of the region has broken down and basics such as food, running water, electricity and telephone services are in short supply for millions of people. The crisis calls for immediate help and we must do all we can to alleviate the sufferings of the victims.

The coverage of the quake has been heart rending, but one clarification is in order. Western reporters have alluded to the most unfortunate lot of recent migrants to this industrial corner of the country without uttering the word Kurd or Kurds. Because of Turkey’s war and oppression on the Kurdish populations in eastern regions of the country, millions of Kurds have, in recent years, migrated to the large Turkish cities in the west often settling in the shanty towns that have been hit the hardest in this quake. As a result, some of the victims, although the precise number is not known, have been Kurds.

At the American Kurdish Information Network (AKIN), we are pleased to announce the establishment of an effort to help the victims of this tragedy, both the Turks and the Kurds. To that end, we have opened a special account in Washington, DC to collect your financial contributions. The collected funds will be designated for specifically earthquake relief effort and delivered to the Turkish Embassy. When making your tax deductible donations please make note of the following information:

Name of the Bank: NationsBank
Name of the Account: AKIN/Earthquake 99/Turkish-Kurdish Relief Fund
Account Number: 001933237800
Tax-Exempt Number: 52-1834260

Please be generous with your financial help. It will go a long way to restore some of the basic services to the victims. We hope to count on your support.

Sincerely yours,

Kani Xulam
Director

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