Turkish actors launch campaign to help theater workers

Turkish actors created a donation platform to help unemployed theater workers as the sector is now one of the hardest hit because of the novel coronavirus.

Actors including Ali Düşenkalkar, Çağlar Çorumlu, and Tilbe Saran, organized the campaign for stage workers.

Although Turkey has begun to gradually ease measures against the virus, movie theaters, cafes and other venues are currently shuttered.

The death toll for the country stands at 4,431 as of Wednesday.

A total of 100 theater and cinema personnel, including Demet Evgar, Erdal Beşikçioğlu, and Songül Öden read poetry on video from 51 well-known poets such as Nazım Hikmet, Atilla Ilhan, Pir Sultan Abdal, and Rıfat Ilgaz.

Videos of the readings can be viewed at the organization's website, Dayanismanin100usiir.org.

Actors said the theater reminds people to hope, laugh, question, remember, think and dream despite difficulties.

"Today, we want to say to the 'We are with you' to meet with them again tomorrow.

"Because, as we realized in these disaster days, we would go crazy in a world without art. Now it's your turn to let our theaters resist [difficulties they are facing] and live," they said in a statement.

Donations collected through the website will be distributed to workers through a 250 Turkish Lira Together Card ($37).

Since first appearing in China last December, the has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.

The pandemic has killed more than 352,600 worldwide, with an excess of 5.63 million confirmed cases, while recoveries are greater than 2.32 million, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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