Azerbaijani man with decrepit car influences millions with volunteer work for Türkiye quake victims
Internally displaced person tells Anadolu the story behind image of his 1981-model car overloaded with assistance for people affected by deadly earthquake
A 33-year-old Azerbaijani citizen, whose photo showing him driving a car with a Turkish flag on the top of the vehicle overloaded with assistance for the people affected by the earthquake in Türkiye went viral on the social media, told Anadolu that he feels it as his duty to support the earthquake victims of the "brotherly" country.
"We sat together with my cousins on the day of the earthquake in Türkiye and decided altogether to help the brotherly country, to support it," said Sarvar Bashirli, adding that their economic condition was too bad because they were forcibly displaced from their homeland in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
The next morning, Bashirli said, they went to his relatives, who are originally internally displaced people from Lachin -- Azerbaijan's region which has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades -- to collect whatever possible as part of the earthquake relief to be sent for the people of Türkiye.
According to the latest official figures, more than 16,540 have been killed and over 66,130 injured after 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes struck 10 southern Turkish provinces within the space of a few hours on Monday, affecting around 13 million people.
"Some stuff we collected from my uncles' families. My grandmother lives in the dormitory, she also provided aid. Also, some neighbors brought stuff to support the Turkish people," he said.
Driving his decrepit 1981-model car overloaded with several mattresses on the roof and cloth packs and boxes on the open door trunk, Bashirli delivered it to the special center created for the aid collection in the capital Baku.
"We perceive it as our duty to support the people of Türkiye. We (Azerbaijan and Türkiye) are two states but one nation. We did what is necessary to be done. We do it and will continue doing so," he said.
"This is a natural disaster. It is an inevitable incident. May Allah grant patience to people. My condolences go to the Turkish nation," Bashirli added.
The image of his car randomly taken by passersby and uploaded on social media drew the attention of millions of netizens who applauded and appreciated his efforts. Some of the netizens believe that this work will influence many more to do similar kinds of volunteer work.
Bashirli stressed that they keep collecting aid and delivering it to the collection centers as much as possible.
"We continue our help till now. Today, we delivered some foodstuff to the collection center," he said.
The Azerbaijani man also thanked all his countrymen across the world who joined the volunteer relief campaign to support the earthquake victims in Türkiye.
"They contributed much more than we did," he concluded.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.