Amsterdam-born artist Karsu Donmez, whose family is originally from Hatay, recently inaugurated the Serinyol Music House in her ancestral hometown.
This initiative comes in response to the devastating earthquakes that struck the region on Feb. 6, 2023, claiming the lives of 16 of her relatives.
Donmez funded the music venue with donations from the Netherlands, with the intention of healing through music. The facility now houses approximately 100 instruments, each with its own story, and stands as a symbol of resilience and hope.
"Opening this music house, which I am delighted to have achieved, is about bringing comfort through music," Dönmez expressed. However, her efforts extend beyond emotional support, as evidenced by her fundraising activities.
Donmez and her family have raised approximately $136 million in collaboration with various organizations to support the areas and people affected by the devastating earthquake.
"People are curious about where the funds have gone. We've distributed the money among seven different foundations, all dedicated to supporting projects in Turkey," she explained.
Marking the first anniversary of the earthquakes, Donmez visited Hatay, where she somberly reflected on the loss and suffering caused by the disaster.
"I love my homeland deeply, even though I was born and raised in Amsterdam," she said. "My parents named me Karsu (after our village) for a reason. Spending the day in cemeteries, we faced the painful decision of which grave to visit first. It was a deeply sorrowful situation. My goal is to bring as much love and morale as possible from the Netherlands," she stated.