May 16 marked 100 days since earthquakes shook Türkiye and Syria, which destroyed 500,000 homes and displaced an estimated 2.7 million people. Months later, millions in the region are still in need of temporary housing and other aid.
To support ongoing relief efforts, Airbnb Co-Founder and Airbnb.org Chairman of the Board Joe Gebbia, and Chobani Founder and CEO and Founder of the Tent Partnership for Refugees Hamdi Ulukaya, announced they will donate $800,000 to help people impacted by the earthquakes in Türkiye.
Gebbia and Ulukaya will each donate $400,000 to support local nonprofit organizations that have been leading earthquake relief efforts in Türkiye. Ulukaya will direct his donation to Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF), the leading US community foundation for high-impact social investments dedicated to Turkish and Turkish-American communities. TPF will play an important role in channeling these funds to local organizations in Türkiye.
Gebbia’s funding will go to Airbnb.org, an independent nonprofit that connects people in times of crisis to free, temporary housing with the support of Hosts on Airbnb and organizations around the world. Since February, Airbnb.org has helped connect nearly 1,000 people impacted by the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria to temporary housing.
The donations from Gebbia and Ulukaya will support The Federation of Women’s Associations of Turkey (TKDF), which has played an instrumental role in helping connect people to resources following the earthquakes, and ARSA, a refugee-led organization working to offer housing to refugees and communities whose homes were destroyed. Both TKDF and ARSA will use the donations to provide stays of up to 30 days for people displaced by the earthquakes in Türkiye through accommodations booked via Airbnb.org and other types of short-term housing.
“At Turkish Philanthropy Funds, we take immense pride in guiding and assisting Joe Gebbia and Hamdi Ulukaya in their generous donations to the earthquake-affected regions in Türkiye. With our extensive connections and deep-rooted presence on the ground, our goal is to ensure the donations have the most meaningful impact and reach the communities and individuals most in need.”
—Mehmet Kirdar, Chairman of Turkish Philanthropy Funds
Stepping up commitments for meaningful recovery
With housing among the most immediate and critical needs for people impacted by the earthquakes, the donation from Gebbia and Ulukaya will provide much-needed support and build upon other philanthropic initiatives the two leaders have championed in Türkiye and beyond.
Born to a Kurdish family in İliç, a small village in Turkey’s Erzincan Province, Ulukaya has been a longtime advocate for refugees around the world and has already contributed $2 million to earthquake relief efforts in Türkiye. In addition to raising money, Hamdi activated entrepreneurs in his Hamdi Ulukaya Initiative to identify and launch additional opportunities for support. The incubator gathered a workshop in Türkiye to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for those impacted by the earthquakes.
“We knew from the very start that the path to relief in Türkiye after the earthquake would be difficult and require continued attention long after the cameras left. We must stay the course and sustain support as the long road to rebuilding will only happen with continued action from businesses, governments, and NGOs. Proud to partner with my friend Joe and Airbnb.org who understands that the challenges are immense, enduring, and oftentimes hidden from the public eye.”
—Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani Founder and CEO and Founder of the Tent Partnership for Refugees
As Chairman and President, Gebbia has been closely involved with the expansive work of Airbnb.org since its founding in December 2020. Airbnb.org has connected thousands of people to temporary housing in the wake of natural disasters, including floods, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes.
“Natural disasters, like the recent earthquakes in Türkiye, leave trails of devastation and long-term effects that require years of work and investment for meaningful restoration. Some of the most important relief efforts happen months after the disaster, and I’m proud to join Hamdi in supporting sustainable recovery during this pivotal time — my hope is that our collaborative efforts promote further impact.”
—Joe Gebbia, Co-Founder of Airbnb and Chairman of the Board of Airbnb.org