Ekin-Su Culculoglu: Love Island star says her Turkish family are ‘sleeping outside’ after earthquake

Ekin-Su pictured in 2022 (Getty Images)

Ekin-Su CülcüloÄŸlu has said that her Turkish family are “sleeping outside” following the earthquake that hit southern Turkey in the early hours of Monday (6 February).

The quake was followed by powerful aftershocks affecting parts of Syria, and thousands of buildings across Turkey and northern Syria were reduced to rubble as people slept.

The death toll climbed to 12,391 by Thursday (9 February), the Disaster Management Authority (AFAD) said, according to the Cumhuriyet news website. The number of injured has increased to 62,914.

Speaking to Mark Austin on Sky News on Wednesday (8 February), the Love Island winner, who is of Turkish descent, said: “I have members of my family who have obviously experienced the shake, they’ve been outside, they’ve been sleeping outside.”

“It’s scary because it’s people who are very close to me. I’ve had numerous people on Instagram reach out to me, they’ve sent me locations of an address, pictures live. They are screaming for help.”

She continued, explaining that she’s desperate to help people affected by the quake: “I want to use my platform as much as I can to help anyone out there from Syria and Turkey.”

CülcüloÄŸlu, who recently appeared on the latest series of ITV’s Dancing On Ice, also revealed she had previously been nervous about earthquakes hitting the country when she lived there, saying she “always lived on the edge”.

She added that she will travel to the region to help at the “first opportunity”.

“Obviously, it’s my home, it’s my second language. Anything I can do, I’m there to support anyone.”

According to Italian seismologist Carlo Doglioni, the president of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (Ingv), the series of powerful earthquakes have likely moved the entire country by up to six metres.

On Tuesday (7 February), Ekin-Su shared an emotional message on Instagram, pleading with her 3.2 million followers to donate what they could to a fundraising page.

Sharing an infographic of the death toll alongside an image of destroyed buildings, Ekin-Su wrote: “I’m pleading we help people are dying! Help stop the suffer in Turkey and Syria please help.”

CülcüloÄŸlu also appeared in a video on the British Red Cross’s Instagram encouraging people to donate to humanitarian groups supporting those affected by the quake.

“There are starving people and we need your help,” she said. “I’m sending love to each family. We will do what we can. The best thing you can do is support, donate and to ask for or give help.”

“Please, please, please, do whatever you can do. We hope to see an end to this soon.”