Thomaston Mosque Thanks Community for Donations Towards Turkish Earthquake Relief

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A mosque in Thomaston gathered a large number of donations given by the local community, all to send to Turkey as the country continues to recover from a massive earthquake.

“It’s just an unimaginable thing and the worst things are going through your mind," said Nihat Ozkan.

Ozkan's eyes were glued to the TV with images of destruction after a major earthquake in Turkey. Born in Istanbul, the aftermath hit home for Ozkan.

“Seeing all those buildings flatten, you get a feeling for what those poor people are going through,” he said.

In response, his mosque, the American Turkish Islamic Cultural Center in Thomaston, mobilized to gather donations to send to the region.

“A lot of clothes. Blankets. Shoes. Medical supplies. Hygiene supplies,” Ozkan said.

He says the response was overwhelming to the point where the mosque couldn’t take anymore. Donations filled multiple rooms up to the ceiling from people all over the community.

“Everybody has been absolutely unbelievable. We cannot thank all those people enough. We help the Turkish out there because they’re our people, but for everyone else to be so giving, kind and generous, we can’t say enough thank yous,” he said.

Ozkan says fortunately no one in the mosque has family near where the earthquake hit. He believes the resiliency of the Turkish people will push them forward.

“They will bounce back up. They will lick their wounds and get back to normality, though it will take a little bit,” Ozkan said.

Members of the mosque say if the local community still wants to provide help, they suggest donating money to verified charities helping with earthquake relief.

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