• More than 5,000 people have died in the earthquake
  • A soccer player also lost his life in Turkey
  • Turkish defender Merih Demiral is auctioning Ronaldo's jersey to raise funds

A Cristiano Ronaldo-autographed shirt will be auctioned to raise funds for the victims of the Turkey earthquake, Atalanta defender Merih Demiral has confirmed.

A catastrophic earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck Turkey and Syria on Monday, killing more than 5,000 people, including a soccer player. Goalkeeper Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan, who played for the Turkish second-division club Yeni Matalyaspor, lost his life after getting trapped under the rubble.

Demiral, who has made 35 appearances for the Turkish national team, said he'll do whatever he can to aid those affected by the earthquake. Demiral's personal kit collection includes a signed shirt from Ronaldo from the time the duo were teammates at Juventus. Demiral played with Ronaldo at the Serie A club for two seasons between 2019 and 2021. The 24-year-old center-back said he would auction the jersey after speaking with the former Manchester United star.

"I just spoke with Cristiano. He said that he was very sad about what happened in Turkey. We are auctioning Ronaldo's signed jersey in my collection. All proceeds from the auction will be used in the earthquake zone," Demiral wrote on Twitter.

Demiral's post immediately went viral, with other soccer stars coming forward with their signed jerseys to help the cause, including Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci and AS Roma's Paulo Dybala.

In a follow-up tweet, he wrote: "And now I talked to Leonardo Bonucci. He expressed his sadness and said that Turkey stands by our people. He also said he donated a signed Juventus jersey." Demiral put up a similar tweet for Dybala as well.

Demiral chose the Turkish charity Ahbap to donate. International organizations such as the Turkish Red Crescent and Save The Children are also currently accepting donations as they aid people on the ground in Turkey and Syria.

Al-Nassr fans have queued down the steet to buy Cristiano Ronaldo's shirt

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a three-month state of emergency in 10 provinces worst affected by the earthquake to ensure that rescue work can be "carried out quickly" in the country's south-east. The rescuers are also battling heavy rain and snow as they race against time to find survivors of the earthquake.