An incredible Turkish couple got married last week and invited 4,000 Syrian refugees to celebrate their special day with them.
Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat tied the knot in Kilis province on the Syria-Turkey border, which is currently home to thousands of people fleeing conflict in the neighbouring country – described as the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
It’s traditional for Turkish weddings to last between Tuesday to Thursday, all ending with a huge banquet on the final night, but this couple decided they wanted a celebration with a difference.
Last Thursday, the newly-weds donated the savings their families had collected for a wedding party to aid organisation Kimse Yok Mu, in order to share food with the refugees living nearby instead.
It was the groom’s father, Ali Üzümcüoğlu, who originally had the lovely idea to share some wedding joy with the less fortunate.
I thought that sharing a big delicious dinner with our family and friends was unnecessary, knowing that there are so many people in need living next door. So I came up with this idea and shared it with my son. I’m very happy that he accepted it and they started their new happy journey with such a selfless action.
Speaking to the Independent, bride Esra Polat said:
I was shocked when Fethullah first told me about the idea but afterwards I was won over by it. It was such a wonderful experience. I’m happy that we had the opportunity to share our wedding meal with the people who are in real need.
The wedding guests came together to operate the food trucks and share the banquet with refugee families, while the bride and groom helped distribute the meals themselves and even took their wedding pictures with people at the camp.
Groom Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu called the experience the “best and happiest moment of my life”, adding:
Seeing the happiness in the eyes of the Syrian refugee children is just priceless. We started our journey to happiness with making others happy and that’s a great feeling.
Fethullah said that his friends were so inspired by the day that they’re now planning on similar events for their own weddings.
What an inspirational bride and groom. If only more people thought like these two!