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NewsHumanitarian WorkInspiring ProjectsTürkiye

A Heart Which Beats for the Oppressed: Simit Seller Erkan Ayhan

Translator: Fatıma Nur Dinçer

In today’s news article, we will reach out to Kocaeli, where we will meet Erkan Ayhan, who sets a great example of sentimentality. We do not hold much information about him other than the fact that he is 43 years of age, and that he has been working as a simit (Turkish bagel) seller for 15 years. However, we know him from the times when most thought “what changes with my contribution, it is pointless to deal with”, where he took a stand and did his part in contributing to society. Let’s see what can be achieved when someone puts 100% effort and sincerity into a course.  

I simply could not stay silent while children were freezing

Ayhan, also known as “Simitçi Erkan“, who has been conducting exemplary work for the oppressed in Kocaeli, has launched a campaign in recent months for the winter needs of children living in camps in Idlib, Syria. Ayhan provided a total of 700 blankets and 150 coats with the support of philanthropists as part of the campaign and delivered them to the children in Idlib. Ayhan said in a statement that he would travel all over Turkey and collect aid, if necessary, to keep the children from getting cold. Ayhan added that he will continue with the aid work, “I simply could not stay silent while children were freezing, as they are our brothers and sisters.”. Ayhan explained that the Elazig earthquake has occurred when he went to Idlib to deliver aid to these war victim children and that he then sold simit, on his return to the streets of Antakya, and sent the income as an aid to Elazig.

Seeing the happiness and joy in the eyes of the children makes it all worth it.

Ayhan who keeps a close eye on daily news worldwide cannot keep silent against oppression. So much so that in 2018, he donated two days of his earnings to help the oppressed who were persecuted in Eastern Ghouta due to the bombings. He has previously donated his two-day earnings to help Arakanese Muslims suffering on the African continent from the massacre done by Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar’s, as well as opening a water well in Ghana. He added that he had also previously sent aid to Gaza, Africa, and Palestine. Last Ramadan Ayhan then went to refugee camps to distribute a total of 800 pairs of shoes to orphaned children. Stating that he tries his best to become the voice of orphans and those oppressed, he added,

“It’s not hard to sell simit while also being able to make time for this kind of work. Considering those kids live there under bombs, we are in heaven. So, it’s not a challenge. It’s all worth it when you see the joy and happiness of the children.”.

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