• Anıl Bahşi | Communications Specialist

For Seyfettin and his family, life before the earthquakes was peaceful. He had been working as a driver for nearly 30 years in Adiyaman Province, providing for his family. 

In 2015, he and his wife Ganime decided to start a home textile business. Ganime took on a bigger role managing the business, which was going well. 

Everything changed on the 6th of February 2023. 

Seyfettin and Ganime’s shop, which they built with great effort, was damaged and had to close. "We lost many relatives, our shop was badly damaged, and we lost our house," says Seyfettin. 

Seyfettin and his family had to stay in his father's house for five months, then moved to a container provided by authorities in a temporary settlement.  

“We realized how much more comfortable the life we used to live was. My little daughter Elif was crying all the time,” he recalls. “When we first moved into our container, she screamed with joy," adds Ganime. 

Seyfettin and Ganime are rebuilding their dreams together. Photo: IOM/Anıl Bahşi

Seyfettin learned in their neighbourhood that there would be a lottery for the new ‘social market’, where various shops would cater to residents’ needs and revive economic activity. After filing his application to participate in the lottery, he won a slot to open one of the shops. 

Naturally, he thought of reopening his textile business. 

"After the earthquakes, many of our sewing machines and shelves were broken. At first, we thought we couldn't continue this business anymore.” Nevertheless, Seyfettin and Ganime persisted, making use of the materials they had left. 

They further participated in the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) cash grant programme – through which select entrepreneurs, identified in cooperation with local authorities, are supported to re-establish or expand their business through the purchase of items or equipment. 

Seyfettin bought new fabrics to kickstart his new textile shop. 

“Now, I have more fabric choices and I can offer more options to my customers. This increases my sales,” he remarks. “Previously we had 15 different types of fabric, but now we have added 13 more. I want to offer as many options as possible to customers.” 

Seyfettin also benefitted from a training session aimed at equipping participants with enhanced financial and managerial skills. 

"This support was very useful in our recovery. We were able to buy materials without going into debt, because the price of materials went up a lot. It feels like I've rebuilt this shop.” 

A part-time driver, Seyfettin helps his wife in the shop during his free time. Photo: IOM/Anıl Bahşi

After the February earthquakes, IOM supported over 90 businesses across various sectors, owned by migrants, refugees and host community members, in Adiyaman. In total, over 330 entrepreneurs in 10 provinces received cash grants. 

Today, Seyfettin is looking to return to his normal life in the old days. While waiting to have a permanent home again, they are working hard to keep the business running, taking care of the shop and hoping for a more stable life in retirement. 


IOM’s cash grant programme is made possible with funding from the Republic of Korea and the United States Government. 

Written by Anıl Bahşi, IOM Türkiye Communications Specialist