Thank You For Your Help – Mustafa Akarsu Family Fund Hits $107,551

Two months ago I’ve blogged about the passing of Mustafa Akarsu, the local guard at the US Embassy in Ankara who was killed  in the suicide attack on February 1 (see US Embassy Turkey: Suicide Bomber Kills Local Guard Mustafa Akarsu, Wounds One and also US Embassy Turkey: Mourning Mustafa Akarsu).

A week after he was killed, his supervisor at the US Embassy in Ankara David Root started a fund-raising drive for Mustafa’s wife and children.  David, a  Special Agent with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and Assistant Regional Security Officer did it in his private capacity via Indiegogo. (see DS Agent David Root Starts Fund for Mustafa Akarsu’s Family, Guard Killed in Embassy Ankara Suicide Attack – You Can Help.

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During the 60 day campaign, David posted photos and did 31 updates to supporters of the fund.  The fund-raising effort generated 1,294 funders and 147 comments.  Best of all, the final amount of $107,551 is more than 35 times over the original goal of $3,000.

For some who may not know it, local employees are in a non-US compensation system.   They are not considered FS or CS and do not typically get U.S. Social Security (used to, but not in the last 30 years if I remember correctly).   I don’t know if they are covered by the death gratuity rules that cover American employees or if they get one on a case by case basis subject to the decision of the Secretary of State. I was told that while local employees do get life insurance when they are hired, the plan that covers the employees in Turkey  apparently states that it does not cover terrorist attacks, sabotage, etc.

I hope the next step is to get the family members SIV if they want it, a much more complicated step now that the employee is no longer here. If I can get an update on that, I’ll post it here.

If you are a reader of this blog and have donated to the Akarsu fund, thank you for your kindness and support.

 

–DS

 

 

 

 

 

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2 responses

  1. David’s last update indicates a Congressman from Texas has introduced a bill that would allow Mustafa’s family to immigrate. Text below.

    I thought the next Update would be the last (giving the details of the transfer of funds to the Akarsu family) but…

    I thought you all would like to know that U.S. Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX) has agreed to sponsor a bill into law that would allow family members of deceased U.S. State Department local employees to continue with the Special Immigrant Visa process (a pathway to citizenship for long-term employees of the U.S. Government) after the death of the employee.

    As you may recall, Mustafa was in this process when he was killed on February 1st. Under current policy, the process was stopped. With this hopefully new law, Mustafa’s family (and every family in this sad situation) will be able to fulfill Mustafa’s dream.

    p.s. If it passes, the new law will be called…

    the Mustafa Akarsu Local Guard Force Support Act.

    Stay safe, all.

    • h – thanks. I wrote this last night and did not think of checking before I posted in the middle of running errands today. Happy to hear about the SIV. take care.