Earthquake Relief Benefit Concerts for Turkey and Syria Being Held in New York This Weekend

Earthquake relief
Courtesy DROM

More than 30 Turkish, Syrian and local musicians will perform at benefit concerts taking place in New York on Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 18-19), in an effort to help raise funds for those affected by the devastating earthquakes that struck those countries earlier this month. The death toll from the quakes is reported to be at least 35,000, a number likely to rise in the coming days.

The concerts will be held at the New York venue DROM, with 100% of ticket proceeds going to benefit the Turkish Philanthropy Fund and Basmeh Zeitooneh, a registered non-governmental organization working in Syria and Turkey — more details can be found here and here; the concerts’ program appears below.

Last week, Turkish actor and philanthropist Mert Firat spoke with Variety from the stricken city of Antakya, where he was helping with relief efforts.

“The biggest problems are lack of water, gas, electricity and Internet,” he said. “Gas stations have been destroyed. We are using tankers to carry gas to make the electricity work and using generators as well. And food is a problem. All markets and restaurants are shut. Also finding locations to set up camps is important because many people no longer have houses. Thousands of houses have been destroyed and people need to sleep outside. So we need tents, we need blankets. We are also trying to set up trailer camps. We’ve launched a campaign called One Rent, One Home. The campaign brings together people who have lost their homes after the earthquake and those who want to give rent support or open their empty houses for use. We are trying to take people out of the hardest-hit cities and give them shelter elsewhere. In Antakya, roughly 30% of the population has left the city.”

Saturday, Feb 18:
5pm – Doors
6pm-6:05pm – Opening Remarks by Prof. Selcuk Sirin
6:05-6:10pm – Speech by Senay Ataselim (Turkish Philanthropy Fund)
6:15pm-6:30pm – Frank London Ottomania with Michael Winograd, Bilge Günaydın, Jerry Kislinger,Joe Exley, Will Holshauser, Matt Darriau, Brian Drye
6:40pm-7pm – Ismet Ertas and Ara Dikjian
7:10pm-7:25pm – Aysegul Durakoglu
7:30pm-8pm – Bilge Gunaydin and Ara Dinkjian
8pm-8:30pm – Fahir Atakoglu with Meltem Cumbul
8:45pm-9:40pm – Panogiotis Andreou, Engin Gunaydin, Marius Van Den Brink,Oran Etkin, Ara Dinkjian and Nefeli Fasouli
10pm-10:15pm – Nella

Sunday, Feb 19:
5pm – Doors 
6pm-6:05pm – Opening remarks by Prof. Selcuk Sirin
6:05pm-6:10pm – Speech by Yasmin Kayali (Basmeh and Zeitooneh)
6:10pm-6:30pm – Nano Raies
6:30pm–6:50pm – Mona Miari
7pm-7:40pm – Ismail Lumanovski, Ruslan Agababayev and Faraj Abyad
7:50pm-8pm – Carlton J Smith
8pm – 8:15pm – Spiros Exaras and Emre Yilmaz
8:15pm-8:45pm – Demir Demirkan and Fatma Turgut
9pm-9:30pm – Layale Chaker, Phillip Golub, Sam Minaei and John Hadfield
9:45pm-10:15pm – Marwan Allam, Yacine Boulares, Chris McCarthy and Samvel Sarkisyan
10:30pm – 11pm – Johnny Gandelsman
11:15pm – 12am – Kinan Azmeh, Kyle Sanna, John Hadfield and Josh Myers