site.btaVolunteers from Turkish City of Eskisenir Make Martenitsas to Support Children in Earthquake-affected Areas
On the initiative of the Rumeli Society for Balkan Culture and Solidarity (ERBALDER), located in the Turkish city of Eskisehir, which unites Turks from Bulgaria and the Balkan countries, volunteers hand-made traditional Bulgarian martenitsas in support of children in South-Eastern Turkiye affected by the earthquakes on February 6. Members of the Association of Retired Teachers in the city also joined in.
With joint funds and efforts, the volunteers made thousands of martenitsas with white and red threads, which they put up for sale in the teacher's hall in the city. The martenitsas on display generated a lot of interest and quickly sold out. The proceeds will be fully donated to the children of the affected regions, said the chair of ERBALDER, Neziha Bilen, who is originally from Bulgaria.
"Baba Marta is a very popular tradition that we celebrate in Bulgaria. The martenitsa heralds the arrival of spring, symbolizes health, longevity and strength, as well as friendship and mutual assistance. This year we decided to make martenitsas to support the children in the counties affected by the devastating earthquakes. We called them "bracelets of hope" because our goal is to help heal the wounds of the earthquakes, provide support and inspire hope. The idea was met with interest and responsiveness by many people and it took off," Bilen explained to BTA.
A total of 45,089 people died in two earthquakes on February 6, measuring 7.7 and 7.6 on the Richter scale in South-Eastern Turkiye. Over 1.97 million citizens have been displaced from the quake area.