New Idea



- To donate to Bekir’s family fundraiser, visit:

Ahead of her wedding to Dylan Adams next month, The Block’s Jenny Heath had “the best weekend of my life” during her hens extravagan­za.

Joining the bride-to-be were her Block besties, Sarah Jane Wilson and Rachel Carr, who flew up to the Gold Coast especially for the occasion. But as the trio documented the festivitie­s on social media, many noticed there was one person missing from the fun – fellow Blockhead Sharon Johal.

Instead, Sharon attended the official launch of the Melbourne Fashion Festival with her husband Ankur Dogra.

Some fans wondered if Sharon had been left off the guest list, given she and Jenny

butted heads during their time on The Block.

As viewers will remember, when Sharon and Ankur won a midweek challenge that saw them awarded an extra point for that week’s room reveal, Jenny was less then impressed.

“We were robbed!” she said at the time.

“As soon as we opened the door [to Ankur and Sharon’s room], we didn’t think they should have come close to us.”

Sharon also had her own reasons not to like Jenny, even calling her a “d**khead” for “bribing” some of her tradies into placing underfloor heating in her place first.

However, Rachel later cleared things up, confirming Sharon had been invited “but couldn’t make it”. Still, it certainly seemed like Jenny wasn’t too fussed as she and her gal pals enjoyed a cruise followed by a party at the Pink Flamingo club.

“I have the most amazing girls around me,” she said. “I’m so grateful for everything they did for me this weekend.”

In extra good news for Jenny, it was revealed her and Dylan’s Block house has finally sold, three months after it failed to find a buyer on auction day.

It was midday in Sydney, Australia on February 6 when Turkish-australian dad-of-six Bekir Kilic received a phone call that turned his entire world upside down.

Some 14,000km away in Osmaniye, a city in southern Turkey near the Syrian border, an unimaginab­le tragedy was unfolding as a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the neighbourh­ood where Bekir was born.

As word of the disaster reached the Kilic family, gathered at their home in Sydney’s west, they prayed their beloved relatives would be found alive. Sadly, the good news never came.

“We have lost 27 of our nearest and dearest from this catastroph­ic disaster – and there could be more,” a heartbroke­n Bekir, 54, shares with New Idea.

“From my son-in-law calling me 20 minutes after it hit to hearing this – it’s grief on an unimaginab­le scale,” he says through tears.

With his precious mum Havva, 75, at his side, Bekir says breaking the news that her beloved sister, Senel, did not survive remains one of the toughest things he has ever had to do.

“She’s already been buried in the local village cemetery – at least she’s been found, unlike so many who remain unaccounte­d [for],” he says.

“Our mother was a single mum and was determined to give us the best opportunit­ies growing up, and with my three brothers, she brought us to Sydney in 1977 to make a better life.

“We’re the only family to come to Australia and the rest – uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews – all lived in Osmaniye.”

Amid the devastatio­n, there is some hope for the Kilic family, with Bekir managing to locate a cousin and her three older children.

“Her name is Melek, which translates to angel – and that she is. She described her

escape as she ran for her life from her apartment through crumbling concrete and dust, watching helplessly as some of her neighbours perished,” Bekir says, pausing to wipe away fresh tears before continuing.

“She’s found space in one of the tent cities – people are sleeping in cars and burning what they can to keep warm. There is little food and water, which is hard on the children. Things are grim and they need our assistance,” he says.

With his wife Ireena, Bekir, a successful businessma­n, has set up a Gofundme page to help rebuild his birthplace. His uncle Saban, a respected member of the Osmaniye community and a former mayor, has offered to assist on the ground and together they will do whatever they can.

“The first $15,000 raised, thanks to hundreds of generous Aussies who dug deep, will be split into $250 envelopes and distribute­d throughout the community to the worst-hit families.

“It’s the least we can do after being afforded such a wonderful life here in Australia.

“It’s going to be decades before life is back to normal, but we never give up, and where there’s hope, there’s always new beginnings.”

By Lizzie Wilson

 ?? ?? The Block girls had a blast spoiling Jenny before her wedding
to Dylan.
The Block girls had a blast spoiling Jenny before her wedding to Dylan.
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 ?? ?? Sharon and Ankur were out in Melbourne.
Sharon and Ankur were out in Melbourne.
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 ?? ?? Bekir and wife Ireena, pictured with grandson Emmanuel, are raising funds.
Bekir and wife Ireena, pictured with grandson Emmanuel, are raising funds.

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