A newly married Turkish couple fed 4,000 Syrian refugees on their wedding day in the southern city of Kilis.
Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat, who got married in the province which is near the Syrian border last week, invited refugees who have fled Syria since the civil war began four years ago.
Turkey has welcomed nearly two million Syrian refugees and in Kilis, there are 4,000 refugees that “Kimse Yok Mu” (Is Anybody There?), a Turkish charity which provides help to millions across the world, is responsible for providing food to.
The idea for sharing their special day with those less fortunate was that of the groom’s father, Ali Üzümcüoğlu. He told Serhat Kilis newspaper that he hoped others would do the same and share their wedding celebrations with their Syrian Muslims brothers and sisters.
“We thought that on such a happy day, we would share the wedding party with our Syrian brothers and sisters. We thought this was best done with Kimse Yok Mu who could provide a truck. God willing, this will lead to others doing the same and giving food to our Syrian brothers and sisters. For us, it was an interesting wedding dinner.”
The father also said he was glad that the couple began a new life “with such a selfless action”.
Wedding guests shared food using trucks and those providing meals included the bride and groom themselves.
Hatice Avci, a spokesman for Kimse Yok Mu, told i100.co.uk that on Thursday, the couple pooled the money they had received from their families to host a party with the refugees who live in and around the city.
The bride, Mrs Polat, told i100 what a wonderful experience it was and how happy she was to share the meal with those in need.
“I was shocked when Fethullah 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.
The groom, Mr Üzümcüoğlu, said it was a great feeling to make others happy. “Seeing the happiness in the eyes of the Syrian refugee children is just priceless. We started our journey to happiness with making others happy and that’s a great feeling,” he said.