Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu & Esra Polat at the Kimse Yok Mu refugee camp. Photo: Serhat Kilis
A Turkish bride and groom have made international headlines for choosing to spend their wedding day serving meals to 4,000 Syrian refugees.
The couple, Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat, are from Kilis in southern
The small border town, with a population of 108,000, is currently hosting some
123,000 refugees who have fled war-torn Turkey . Syria as a whole has welcomed over
2 million refugees since the crisis began in 2011. Turkey
According to a report in the local newspaper Serhat Kilis, the idea for the newly weds to celebrate their big day with the Syrian refugees came from the groom's father, Ali Üzümcüoğlu. He liaised with a local charity, Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There?), which runs one of the Kilis refugee camps and which happily accommodated the unusual request by arranging a trailer that was used to serve the hot meals.
The charity is part of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen’s Hizmet (Service) movement, which asks its members to make regular charitable donations and to do good deeds.
Ali Üzümcüoğlu told the paper: “On such a joyous day, we wanted to make the wedding feast a charitable act by distributing it among our Syrian brothers and sisters…God willing this is the start and other newly weds will also provide our Syrian brothers and sisters with dinner here.”
After tying the knot, newly weds Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat were driven to the Syrian refugee camp. The refugees were shocked to see the couple turn up in their wedding attire. Many lined up to have their photos taken with the happy couple, who then stepped into the trailer and started to serve meals to the 4,000 refugees. Local singer Reşit Muhtar also helped out.
|The newly weds as they distribute their wedding feast to Syrian refugees. Photo: Serhat Kilis|
After the dinner, the bride and groom spoke of their feelings from the experience. Esra told the
’s Independent newspaper how she
was overcame her initial reservations about their unusual wedding day plans. UK
"I was shocked when Fethullah [Üzümcüoğlu] first told me about the idea but afterwards I was won over by it. It was such a wonderful experience. I’m happy that we had the opportunity to share our wedding meal with the people who are in real need," she said.
Her husband added, "Seeing the happiness in the eyes of the Syrian refugee children is just priceless. We started our journey to happiness by making others happy and that’s a great feeling."
T-VINE congratulates the couple for their selfless act and wish them every happiness.