A North Wales independent school has launched a musical appeal in aid of the catastrophic earthquake in Turkey and Syria which claimed the life of the 17-year-old friend of a Turkish sixth former.
Myddelton College, Denbigh, student Zeynep Sener, 18, said her friend had escaped the first massive tremor but had gone back to look for her family and belongings and had been lost in the second huge quake.
Staff and friends at the school have rallied round to support Zeynep Sener and fellow Myddelton sixth former Ekin Karabagli, 17, who have both been deeply affected by the tragedy.
Ekin’s family who live in Mersin, 60 miles west of the epicentre of the quake near the city of Kahramanmaraş, have had their home in a high rise rocked by the tremors which registered 7.8 and 7.7 on the Richter scale.
Now the school have come together along with international mezzo-soprano Sioned Terry and musicians in Madagascar to perform a song by musical duo Brothers Abide to raise money for the victims of the disaster.
Parent Ed Brookes, from Conwy, who with brother Pete make up Brothers Abide, suggested the collaboration to headmaster Andrew Allman and the school jumped at the chance to help the stricken victims in Turkey and Syria where the death toll is still climbing.
A tearful Zeynep said: “My friend messaged me to say that she hadn’t heard from her parents after the first earthquake and was going to look for them only to be caught up in the second tremor and they are all believed to have died.”
As the death toll rose towards 50,000 and with over a million people housed in temporary camps Ed worked with staff and pupils at the school to put together a recording of their Song of Hope (Til’ We Can Run) for Turkey and Syria.
Staff and pupils at the school have been involved making the music video to post on social media to raise money for the victims of the disaster and Ed said: “We decided to put the video together because the school has such great media and music departments.
“I sat down with the headmaster and we have worked out a plan which we hope will raise as much money as possible and we want to use our students’ contacts in Turkey to find a charity there that we can work with.
“We have used the whole school to create a cover version of the song and Sioned Terry has come in to help out and sing a verse in Welsh while we have been collaborating with musicians in Madagascar who will be joined by singers from across Africa to sing the harmony.
“The idea is that the song can be sold on Spotify and across social media to generate as much money as we can for this dreadful disaster.”
It was social media that alerted Zeynep and Ekin to the scale of the earthquake and she said: “Friends were messaging me and calling at about 7am and I went on Twitter to find out what was going on.
“The first earthquake hit at 4am. It was minus 10 degrees and although a lot of people survived, they’re suffering from cold and hunger and help couldn’t reach them quickly.
“My friend called me because she had lost her parents. She was going back to the house to get things when the second earthquake happened. She was only 17 and she was lost too.”
Ekin added: “My parents live in a modern high-rise in Mersin and it was shaking in the earthquakes which were massive.
“Mersin is a really modern city so the buildings are new and my parents home has been checked and it’s OK.”
Andrew Allman said: “Pupils and staff at Myddelton have been very keen to do something to help the people affected by this disaster and it has been great to have a parent like Ed volunteering his help.
“He has been fantastic and so has the reaction from everyone connected with the school and we’re determined to do our best to raise as much as we can for the people of Turkey and Syria.”
To donate to the Myddelton College earthquake relief appeal go to https://www.justgiving.com/page/myddelton-college-earthquake-appeal?utm_term=eQ23W4D9K