Turkish couple Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat used the funds originally saved for their wedding banquet to provide food for 4,000 Syrian refugees.
The newlyweds were married in the Turkish city of Kilis, situated near the Syrian border. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Turkey currently hosts more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees. Approximately half of them are children. In comparison, Australia has a humanitarian intake of 13,750 refugees every year.
The number of refugees fleeing to Turkey is increasing every day and the Turkish government announced last month it will build a new refugee camp in Kilis to house 55,000 refugees.
The groom’s father, Ali Üzümcüoğlu, came up with the idea of donating the families’ banquet money to feed the refugees. He volunteers for Turkish relief organisation Kimse Yok Mu, which operates a mobile soup kitchen in Kilis for refugees.
The bride and groom, along with the wedding guests, served the refugees from the food trucks while still dressed in their wedding attire.
Ms Polat told The Independent’s i100 she was initially shocked by her father-in-law’s idea, but it was ultimately a “wonderful experience”.
“I’m happy that we had the opportunity to share our wedding meal with the people who are in real need,” she said.
Mr Üzümcüoğlu spoke of the joy of sharing his wedding celebrations with those who are less fortunate.
“Seeing the happiness in the eyes of the Syrian refugee children is just priceless,” he said.
“We started our journey to happiness with making others happy and that’s a great feeling.”