Istanbul has renewed its campaign to host the homeless residents of Turkey’s 39 cities who do not have homes to shelter them in the cold winter
The Turkish city of Istanbul has not completely removed the white dress that it has covered since last Saturday, until stories of warm life began to creep into the details of its diaries from behind the thick layer of snow that had covered it for more than a week.
Uyur Turan and Doigo Unlu were the heroes of the most influential stories. Fate wanted us to be linked with the bond of marital life after they got acquainted with each other in the project “No one will stay abroad” launched by the Istanbul province to accommodate the homeless people who do not have a suitable place to live during the winter as it decreases Temperatures below zero degrees Celsius.
What is the story of the newlyweds?
The story of the newlyweds, whose origins go back to the city of Denizli in southwestern Anatolia, began when they were housed in a hotel in the ancient Fatih district in Istanbul as part of the accommodation project, and there they decided to marry and informed the governor of Istanbul, Ali Yerli Kaya, of their desire and need for help to complete this marriage.
According to the Istanbul municipality, Kaya and the mayor of Fatih Argun Turan, who attended the marriage ceremony and witnessed it, took the initiative to rent a temporary home for a year for the newlyweds, furnish it and provide it with all necessary needs.
Turkish media quoted the groom as saying that he was living in the open in the Saray Borno area near Eminonu Bay in Istanbul, before the crews working on the shelter project reached him and transported him to the hotel to start his life transformation.
As for the bride, she said that she met Turan at the shelters and relief societies more than 6 months ago, and they agreed to marry, especially since they are from the same city, but the circumstances would not qualify them for that.
“Two weeks ago, the governor came to the shelter and asked what we want? So we told him we want to marry, we want our home and we don’t want anything else. Our state responded to this request and gave us what we want, and promised us that it would help us stand on our feet,” she added.
A major housing campaign
The Istanbul municipality had renewed, for the second year in a row, the campaign “No one will stay outside … We will host them all” in mid-December of last year, to host the homeless residents of the 39 cities inside Istanbul who do not have homes to shelter them in the cold winter.
The campaign, which was carried out for the first time in 2019, provided individual hotel rooms to accommodate 1,720 people, after agreements concluded by the local municipalities in Istanbul with 64 hotels in different areas of the huge city of more than 16 million people.
According to Istanbul municipality data, the campaign used the services of relevant civil society organizations, especially the Turkish Red Crescent, which ensured the provision of food, clothes and blankets for the homeless after transporting them to hotels, in addition to local district governors and humanitarian relief societies that launched local donation campaigns that provided the needs of the beneficiaries.
The governor of Istanbul, in his tweet on Twitter, published a statement in which he explained that the renewal of the campaign despite the continuing conditions of the Corona epidemic has become an important matter because “weak social areas” are among the most dangerous factors in the spread of the epidemic, stressing that the campaign crews take preventive measures against infection.
We started last year,
“Nobody Stays Out! Our “Let’s Host” work continues this year in 39 districts.
As of today, we have 226 guests.
– Ali Yerlikaya (@AliYerlikaya) December 12, 2020
Primary care and mental health
The housing campaign resorted to the efforts of the staff of the institutions involved in it and volunteers, and also cooperated with the local community by spreading invitations to the residents urging them to inform the police and gendarmerie stations scattered in the neighborhoods about any homeless citizen on the street.
The steps for hosting the homeless begin from the moment they are brought to the police stations, where PCR checks are conducted for them to ensure their safety from infection with the Coronavirus, and then they are provided with primary care, including food, drink, heating and clothing, in addition to following up on their mental health through psychologists and social workers.
Last week, Istanbul had fallen under the influence of a deep depression, which is the harshest since the beginning of this winter, as snowfall continued for 3 continuous days, and its level rose in some areas above 50 centimeters, and temperatures reached 5 degrees Celsius below zero in some areas.