Support and Sympathy for Türkiye and Syria

February 10, 2023 by Our Department News

Dear Friends of the Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations,

We send our support and deepest sympathies to the students, friends, families and other members of our community affected by the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.

To the members of our community who are from the region or engage in research there, I appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time.

Many of us are looking for ways to support disaster relief and help those impacted in Türkiye and Syria. Students, staff and faculty affected by the disaster may also be seeking assistance in dealing with the distress associated with the event. A number of groups offering immediate assistance in the area are listed below, including the Red Cross’ Earthquake in Türkiye and Syria Appeal, where donations made between February 6 and 22 will be matched by the Government of Canada.

As many of you are aware, the Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations has longstanding ties to the region through a major ongoing archaeological research project in the Hatay Province of Türkiye: the Tayinat Archaeological Project under the direction of Professor Tim Harrison. The local community, which has close ties with the project, faces significant, immediate humanitarian needs and hardships as a result of the damage to homes and the freezing temperatures.

If you would like to receive updates on the situation in the area, or find out how you can directly help, please contact Professor Tim Harrison (

With best regards in this difficult time,


Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner (she, her)
Associate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology, Chair, and Graduate Chair
Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
University of Toronto
Director, Abydos Votive Zone Project, Penn-Yale-IFA Expedition to Abydos


Support Services for Students, Staff and Faculty

Personal Support Services:
Mental Health Portal

Academic Support Service:
Undergraduate students
Graduate Students

Employee Family Assistance Program (1-855-597-2110)


Organizations to Support

Local organizations:
Turkish Red Crescent
The White Helmets

Canadian organizations:
Global Medic
Unicef Canada
Red Cross Canada
Doctors Without Borders