We’ve blogged recently about the passing of Mustafa Akarsu, the local guard at the US Embassy in Ankara who was killed in the suicide attack last February 1 (see US Embassy Turkey: Suicide Bomber Kills Local Guard Mustafa Akarsu, Wounds One and also US Embassy Turkey: Mourning Mustafa Akarsu).
Now, David Root his supervisor at the embassy has started a fund-raising drive for Mustafa’s family. David is a Special Agent with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and is the Assistant Regional Security Officer at Embassy Ankara. He was also Mustafa’s American supervisor. He is using Indiegogo for the funding process, and while we have seen a similar response in the aftermath of Sean Smith’s death, this is the first time we are aware that this is used to support a local USG employee.
And what an extraordinary response! ARSO Root started a funding goal of $3,000 for 60 days and on its second day the amount raised is already over $34,000. In explaining the original funding goal, he wrote that he was “petrified that not enough people would show their support and I would have to explain to Mustafa’s wife and children that we failed.”
In a separate post, he explains:
“Our hopes are that Mustafa’s family will not have to survive only off of Mustafa’s meager pension and give up Mustafa’s dream of his children attending college (goals we have for our own children). Mustafa is no longer here to work towards that dream. It is up to us to ensure his dream does not die with him.”
Here is what David wrote on the funding page:
The United States Embassy in Ankara, Turkey was attacked by a suicide bomber on Friday, February 1st, 2013. Carrying a handgun, a hand grenade, and 6 kilograms of TNT, it is clear that the terrorist’s plan was to kill and do considerable harm to Americans and American Embassy employees inside.
His plan failed.
One of our own armed Embassy Guards, Mustafa Akarsu, immediately recognized the danger and stopped the bomber before he could get into the compound and begin his attack. The suicide bomber, realizing his plan was failing, detonated the device, killing Mustafa instantly.
Unfortunately, the Turkish government’s retirement program will only support Mustafa’s widow and children for a short time (as a Turkish citizen, Mustafa paid into the Turkish system, not the American). Despite Mustafa’s over 22 years of service protecting the American Embassy and sacrificing his own life for ours, his family will struggle on Mustafa’s meager pension for the remainder of theirs (in Turkish culture, the husband is traditionally the sole “bread-winner”). Even more tragically, Mustafa had applied and was being approved for a Special Immigrant Visa (a Visa reserved only for those who have dedicated the many number of years that Mustafa did). He planned on becoming an American citizen with his family and hoped to send his children to college in the U.S. (Mustafa’s 19-year old son is pictured with him in the photo above).
Our Local Embassy Guards around the world, oftentimes overwhelmed and outgunned, are frequently forced to flee from attackers rather than stand and fight. We saw this in the recent attack in Benghazi, Libya where a number of Americans were killed in a similar attack. In holding his ground and knowingly placing his own body literally between the bomber and us, Mustafa truly demonstrated his selflessness and acted as courageously as any hero we have ever known.
If you are able to help us in this sad yet worthy cause, please donate what you can. ALL donations collected will go directly to the fund established for Mustafa’s family.
We know that there are a lot of people suffering during this economic downturn, but if you are able and willing to help, please go to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mustafa-akarsu-family-fund?c=home. Also, we are reminded by one of our readers (thanks D!) that official embassy/consulate websites and social media arms will not be pushing this campaign because there are FAM/FAH restrictions on fund raising.
Thank you for whatever help you can extend …. teşekkür ederim … feel free to link or pass along.
- Far-left group says it bombed US Embassy in Turkey (stripes.com)
- US Embassy Turkey: Mourning Mustafa Akarsu (diplopundit.net)
- In the Foreign Service: Death, Too Close An Acquaintance (diplopundit.net)
- Suicide bomber targets U.S. embassy in Ankara (earththreats.com)