Turkish Airlines, flying to more countries than any other airline in the world, this time has taken off for an important journey in the name of humanity. Call for action to Turkish Airlines by the social media phenomenon and online celebrities, while immensely resonates through out the globe, has become a huge hope for the people of Somalia.
Started by Jerome Jarre, the French social media celebrity and his five friends, the social media campaign on Twitter hashtags #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia and #LoveArmyForSomalia, targeted to draw attention to the brutal tragedy in Somalia and snow balled reaching over 2 billion people thanks to support from other celebrities such as actor Ben Stiller.
Turkish Airlines quickly responded to this call for action which has turned out to be one of the most powerful social responsibility campaigns of all times. In response to the demand of Jerome and his friends to carry humanitarian help to Somalia, Turkish Airlines as the only airline that connects Somalia to the world tweeted the message “We had a call for a journey of love and action” and announced that, they will support the campaign by carrying 200 tons of humanitarian aid to Somalia in the coming 6 months.
$1 million targeted within 10 days by Jerome and his friends right after Turkish Airlines’ pledge to support the campaign, was raised in 22 hours with the support of 16.000 donations from 104 countries. In the 15th day, money raised reached over $2.4million with 80.000 contributors from 125 countries.
Initially 65 tons of high protein baby formulas were delivered to Somalia with the Turkish Airlines cargo jet which took off from Istanbul on the evening of April 4th. The cargo jet was met by local NGO delegates, Federal Republic of Somalia officials including Health Minister Mr. Fowsiya Abiikar Nur, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Salad along with Ambassador of Turkish Republic to Somalia Mr. Olgan Bekar and Turkish Airlines SVP Corporate Communication Ms. Seda Kalyoncu.
Somalian Ministers expressed their gratitude initially to the social media phenomenon, the Turkish Republic for their constant support as from 2011 and to the Turkish Airlines. On the campaign, Turkish Airlines SVP Corporate Communication Ms. Seda Kalyoncu commented as follows; “We are here to support the people of Somalia who are fighting with one of the worst hunger and draught disasters of our age. As the Turkish Airlines family, we are here with the sense of responsibility being the sole commercial carrier that connects Somalia to the world. With 51 destinations we are currently flying to more destinations in Africa than any other airline in the world. Since the visit of our Esteemed President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Somalia in 2011, the relations between the two countries have been developing, including the Mogadishu airport built by Turkish contractors along with hospitals, schools and many infrastructural projects. All social responsibility projects implemented on the continent by Turkish Airlines is a friendly helping hand. I once again would like to thank Mr. Jerome Jarre and his friends for drawing attention to this human tragedy and for this meaningful campaign which was immensely supported by people from 125 countries in such a short period.”