Dec. 19, 2012 By Patricia Dorfman
The Turkish Cultural Center of Queens/TCC, based in Sunnyside, donated $50,000 earlier this month toward the repair of the Rockaways Branch of the Queens Library, after five feet of water took the library out of operation.
The funds were provided on behalf of Turkish Americans, and were the result TCC’s fundraising efforts in New York and Turkey.
TCC is a part of a larger international Turkish organization, Hizmet, meaning “service,” which emphasizes education as its primary goal. Therefore, the group believed donating the funds to a library was befitting.
In addition, the group spent nine days in November distributing hot soup, fruit and beverages to all comers at different locations along the ravaged coast of Queens and Long Island.
Oguzhan Turan, the vice president of TCC, said, “We just found locations by driving around. We saw that hot food would be appreciated, so we made tureens of hot soup.”
Turan said they estimated they were able to give out fruit, bread, beverages and 4,000-5,000 soup portions, judging by the number of used cups.
Turkish Cultural Center’s President, Mehmet Kilic, said, “We are not missionaries, and are not trying to convert anyone to Islam. We just hope for dialogue and friendship. Our hearts went out to the victims of the storm, who all live so close to us.”