Iowan has lived in Turkey 30 years and explains the devastation

Drone photo shows devastation from earthquake in Southeaster Turkey

40,000 people have been confirmed dead at this point and Dave Wilson, who has lived in Turkey for 30 years, says there’s no way the true devastation can be communicated. The destruction in the Southeast corner of the country has led to 400 orphans thus far and in many cases, entire families were lost in an instant. A neighborhood of a colleague had 9 out of 10 apartment buildings completely leveled. Each building had about 70 occupants. 

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Dave Wilson, Founder of TACO

Dave Wilson in Turkey

Wilson grew up in Iowa and is the founder of TACO. The organization is active in Turkey helping people when they need it most, getting them shelter, food, clothing, and resources. They’ve established trustworthy channels dating back decades. But even his team is feeling the pressure, including one of his team members who is Ukrainian and is still reeling from Russian aggression. 

Wilson explains Turkish culture, and history, and why he has been kicked out of the country multiple times, beaten and put in prison. As his team operates in Turkey, he currently resides in Germany hoping the government allows him back in the country. 

Official Donation Page To Help Turkey

Iowans wanting to donate to TACO as they help Turkey can find the official donation page at Under “designation” make sure to select “Turkey Earthquake Relief.”

Updates from Turkey

Dave Wilson has sent the following updates about the Turkey earthquake aftermath.

Update 2/20/23

There have been two additional earthquakes. One was a magnitude 6.3. The initial earthquake weeks ago was a 7.8.

Update 2/17/23

This woman is a friend of Dave. She grew up in one of the areas of the earthquake (Malatya). She is German and her father (a German missionary) was one of 3 Martyrs killed by Muslim extremists in 2007.

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Update 2/16/23

The man filming grew up in Istanbul and now is the pastor of a church in Istanbul. This video is filmed around the center of Antakya. The city is roughly the same size as Des Moines. This area was a popular thoroughfare.

Currently there is no infrastructure whatsoever. All water, electricity, heating, etc is non-existent. According to his estimate 80% of the buildings are, or will be totally destroyed.

Money and supplies are coming in but the biggest need will soon be for trauma counseling.