06 Şubat 2024

The First Anniversary of the February 6th, 2023 Earthquakes

Dear Colleagues,

A year has gone by since February 6th, 2023, when we suffered one of the most devastating natural disasters to have ever struck our country. We take this occasion to once again commemorate with tender feelings all our fellow citizens who lost their lives, among which were a number of our colleagues and dealers, and sincerely share in the pain of those they left behind.    

In the period that followed, which was challenging in every respect, we came together as one body, manifesting a principle of our founder, the late Vehbi Koç: “We exist as long as our state and country exists.” Thus, in the spirit of unity and solidarity, our Group Companies, Koç Volunteers, and dealers, indeed, our entire ecosystem, set in motion.

Once the search & rescue operations had been completed, and the most urgent needs had been met, we focused our efforts on contributing to the medium and long-term recovery of the region. We continued to support our countrymen by mobilizing the Group’s workforce, and engaging our supply and logistical capabilities to build, in collaboration with AFAD, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, the Hope Cities in Adıyaman, İskenderun, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, and Malatya, where 20 thousand people were housed.

The Hope Cities shine with their facilities that are accessible and inclusive; that prioritize the needs of children, young people, and women; and reinforce employment prospects and economic participation, and every time we visit them, while we take note of the continuing challenges in the region, we also witness the substantial difference we have been able to make. Through the work carried out in the Hope Cities in cooperation with public institutions, as well as national and international NGOs, we have achieved the following: 

In order to support the academic development of our children and young people, and to prevent any disruptions to their learning, we established schools, technological design classrooms, libraries, and conference halls.

Dedicated classrooms were set up for children with special needs.

Together with Vehbi Koç Foundation, we provided our children with educational material, and other essential items. We supported young people as they prepared for admission into high schools and universities. We will continue to support them with scholarships, as well as art & culture programs.

Hundreds of children are benefitting from the Hope City Sports Schools.

We set up workshops to empower women to participate in the economy, and call-centers that will provide full-time employment for young people. We also support the people in the region with training courses for the development of vocational skills.

Accessibility is a priority in the cities, where we have 150 disabled-friendly container homes.

In addition to these activities, in an effort to stand by the residents of the Hope Cities as much as possible, on the first anniversary of the earthquake, the managers of our Group and our volunteer colleagues will participate in events that will be held to commemorate those who lost their lives in the earthquake. I would like to take this opportunity to once again express my heartfelt gratitude to all my colleagues who have contributed to the Hope Cities, especially the Koç Volunteers, who have presented us with most beautiful, touching examples of collective solidarity, and brotherly support. Comments by some of the residents of the Hope Cities can be viewed here.

Mindful that our support for the affected region will require sustained efforts in the long term, we pledge to maintain our activities with unwavering motivation, and together, nurture and nourish hope.

Best regards,  

Levent Çakıroğlu