British-Turkish gangster movie star Tamer Hassan today fought back tears as he revealed members of his family are lost in the rubble of the earthquake that has killed 16,000 people in Turkey and Syria.
Mr Hassan, a close friend of Danny Dyer and Ray Winstone whose daughter Belle is a Love Island star, is now leading a campaign to raise £100,000 to help with the humanitarian crisis.
The Football Factory star, 54, tried not to cry as he told Sky News: ‘We have family missing. Due to the cold weather, we’re not hopeful… we’re quite worried.’
Mr Hassan was born in New Cross, south-east London, but considers Turkey to be his ‘mother country’. He is trying to raise money online ‘to help those in need’ and will be travelling to the crisis-hit region from Cyprus, where he is currently.
Among those displaced by the tragedy are relatives of Love Island winner Ekin-Su Culculoglu, whose extended family has been forced to sleep outside after their homes were damaged or destroyed.
More than 23million people have suffered because of the 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude earthquakes this week. The death toll has hit 16,000 but thousands more are missing. 10.9 million people have been affected by the catastrophe in Syria and 13.5 million people in Turkey, according to the UN and Turkish officials.
With many people still trapped in the rubble in subfreezing temperatures, families have been appealing for help in locating their loved ones, including many famous Britons from the Turkish communities in the UK, the majority of whom live in London.
Heartbreaking: British-Turkish actor Tamer Hassan broke down on Sky News on Wednesday as he revealed his family are lost in the rubble of the Turkish earthquake
Tamer, who is the father of Love Island star Belle Hasaan, was speaking from Cyprus, where he has been raising money and gathering supplies to take to Turkey.
He said: ‘I have no words. We’re all devastated. We have family that are lost. I’ll be heading to Turkey, we’re trying to find a route in to the worst affected areas.
‘There are some areas there that have been completely flattened with no help. We’re holding our hands out for people to help as much as they can.’
Tamer then hit out at the Turkish government’s response to the crisis as he continued: ‘My biggest fear is that people will start turning on each other.
‘The government aren’t doing enough. They need to step up and do a lot more for us and unite as one so we can all help as much as we can. We just need help from all over the world and we need to unite as a family.
‘It’s devastating for all of us. We’re all broken and trying to do the best that we can. We need the government to send the army in and stand up for their people
‘This humanitarian disaster is like nothing we’ve ever seen and I hope we never see it again in our lifetime. My heart goes out to everyone else who’s lost someone.’
Tamar’s impassioned plea for help comes after Love Island star Ekin-Su Culculoglu revealed her family have also been caught in the earthquake.
Family: Tamer is the father of Love Island star Belle Hasaan (pictured) and was speaking from Cyprus, where he has been raising money and gathering supplies to take to Turkey
Emotional: The Football Factory star, 54, choked back tears as he explained, ‘We have family missing. Due to the cold weather, we’re not hopeful… we’re quite worried’
The Love Island winner, 28, who is of Turkish origin and lived in Istanbul for two years, said some of her extended family have been caught up in Monday’s disaster.
She appeared on Sky News on Tuesday to discuss the earthquake and explained that members of her extended family have been forced to sleep outside following the disaster.
During her televised appearance from her Essex home, Ekin-Su admitted it has been a ‘scary’ time for her as she threw her support behind relief efforts.
She said: ‘I have members of my family who have obviously experienced the shake, they’ve been outside, they’ve been sleeping outside.
‘It’s scary because it’s people who are very close to me. I’ve had numerous people on Instagram reach out to me, they’ve sent me locations of an address, pictures live. They are screaming for help.
‘I want to use my platform as much as I can to help anyone out there from Syria and Turkey.’
Shocking: With many people still trapped in the rubble in subfreezing temperatures , families have been appealing for help in locating their loved ones
Ekin-Su, who has taken part in an appeal video for the British Red Cross, said she has donated money to rescue efforts and wants to go to Turkey at the ‘first opportunity’ with the charity.
She said: ‘As soon as the opportunity is given to me, I am there. Obviously it’s my home, it’s my second language. Anything I can do, I’m there to support anyone. So first opportunity, I’ll be there.’
‘Anyone in the UK or whoever was following me [on Instagram] from whatever I was on before, I just want to shout here again, please help. We’ve got children, families, friends desperately in need of your help,’ she continued.
‘I cannot emphasise this more. It’s really sad, it’s really heartbreaking. We are a nation, we are in this together. I am lost for words, it’s my hometown, it’s my country.’
Ekin-Su was born in Islington, London, to Turkish parents Sezer and Zekai and lived in Istanbul while starring on Turkish television shows, before moving back to the UK. Her parents relocated to the UK and she also has a younger brother Arda.
Speaking about her firsthand experience living in the country, she admitted she was ‘always in fear’ of earthquakes during her two-year stint residing in Istanbul.
She said: ‘I always lived in fear when I lived in Istanbul, but the fact that this has hit many cities and it has affected a big area of Turkey and Syria is so devastating.’
Rescuers in Turkey and Syria have continued their search for survivors trapped inside the ruins of their homes brought down by the devastating quake.
Against all the odds, search teams were still pulling people from the rubble on Wednesday more than 48 hours after the initial 7.8-magnitude quake. This included an entire Syrian family who were found alive after days trapped in freezing darkness.
Shock: Ekin-Su Culculoglu has revealed that her family have been forced to sleep outside after a devastating earthquake hit parts of Turkey and Syria
Miraculous videos have emerged showing children being found by rescue teams across the devastated region, and pulled from wrecks of buildings covered in dust, but alive. On Tuesday, a newborn baby was saved – still attached to her dead mother.
Rescuers also pulled a three-year-old boy, Arif Kaan, from beneath the rubble of a collapsed apartment building in Kahramanmaras, a city near the epicentre.
A few hours later, rescuers pulled 10-year-old Betul Edis from the rubble of her home in the city of Adiyaman. Amid applause from onlookers, her grandfather kissed her and spoke softly to her as she was loaded on an ambulance.
However, scores more are thought to be still alive underneath huge piles of concrete and twisted metal, and the WHO has warned that time is running out for the thousands injured and those still feared trapped.
More than 90 per cent of earthquake survivors are rescued within the first three days, said Ilan Kelman, a professor of disasters and health at University College London.
‘Generally, earthquakes do not kill people, collapsing infrastructure kills people,’ said Kelman, who has published research on quake rescue responses.
The most pressing factor is getting medical attention to people crushed under collapsed buildings before ‘their bodies fail’ or they bleed out, he said.
Hard work: Against all the odds, search teams were still pulling people from the rubble on Wednesday more than 48 hours after the initial 7.8-magnitude quake
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk