Briefing on ARÇ’s Activities related to the Earthquake Disaster
Updated: 10 February 2023, 10:32
Translated by: Jonathan Maurice Ross
ARÇ (the Emergency and Disaster Interpreters), working under the auspices of the Translation and Interpreting Association – Turkey, is currently providing interpreting support in the wake of the two enormous earthquakes with their epicentre in Kahramanmaraş province (South-Eastern Türkiye) that have hit the country, directly affecting 10 of the country’s 81 provinces. We would like to express our gratitude to all those who have applied to interpret for ARÇ, and we thank them for their thoughtfulness and sensitivity.
Following the earthquake, the ARÇ Coordination Team immediately started to monitor the latest developments via the systems provided by AFAD (The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Türkiye) and international cooperation networks. We undertook the preparations needed to assist the foreign teams arriving in Turkey. The ARÇ Coordination Team is now working both on the ground and from our control centre.
From the morning of the earthquakes on, we started to organise ARÇ volunteers with different language combinations who had expressed a willingness to work in the field. We also updated our form and began to process new applications. Within a short space of time, thousands of people had completed the form. Because of the large volume of applications, from the second day onwards it became challenging to manage the form and evaluate the applications. Although all applications are considered, we can only assign those applicants who meet certain criteria. In the first few days, we concentrated on dispatching interpreters from Istanbul and Ankara to the affected zone, but when problems emerged with transportation we started to prioritise those interpreters who were already in the zone. At the moment, we are giving preference to interpreters who are in that region or who can easily get to the location to which they are assigned. When suitable, we are sending interpreters from Istanbul and Ankara.
So far, by assigning interpreters, we have provided support to the majority of the more than 100 foreign teams who have arrived in Turkey, and we continue to coordinate these interpreters. We are also accepting new applications so that we can give our interpreters the chance to take regular breaks or we can replace interpreters where necessary. In addition, since relief teams will be coming, on the heels of the search and rescue teams, there will still be a need for interpreters in the weeks ahead.
At this critical time for Turkey, we would once again like to thank all those who have applied to serve as volunteer interpreters.
Translation and Interpreting Association – Turkey