DENVER — On Saturday night, the Turkish American Cultural Society of Colorado, known as TACSCO, hosted a cooking class that was supposed to just be a celebration of Turkey's food and culture.
But after an earthquake killed nearly 46,000 people in Turkey and Syria, every event this organization does has become a fundraiser.
"As Turkish people we are really proud of our food and our cooking, and that’s our way to heal as well," said Dr. Ezgi Karasozen, the president of TACSCO.
Dr. Karasozen also happens to be a seismologist for the Alaska Earthquake Center.
"It is very difficult to be studying earthquakes after these kinds of events, you feel really powerless," she said.
Powerless because even though she's an expert, the science isn't enough to save people she loves.
Her husband's mother's side is from the region where the earthquake hit, and one of her closest friends' entire family is there.
"The only thing you can do is study the science," she said. "But you can't actually help mitigate the damage. That's the powerlessness that I sort of felt."
A night like this gives power back.
"Exactly, yeah," said Karasozen.
It's not the event they planned for, but they still celebrate their food and culture in hopes that what they do here brings people in Turkey closer to that feeling of home someday soon.
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