Earthquake in Turkey: Millions Homeless – Pain, Rage and Despair Above the Debris


There is no food, no water, no electricity and no heating, but not even warm clothes, say the residents of the areas affected by the deadly earthquake

By Athena Papakosta

People in Turkey and Syria are collapsing in grief, despair and hopelessness. Survivors of the deadly earthquakes still hope their people are alive. But the number of dead has now exceeded 20,000. Hope turns to exhaustion and exhaustion to rage. There are ruins all around.

There are millions of homeless people in Turkey. At night, next to the ruins, around the fire the survivors try to stay warm. They talk about those who screamed, about those who shouted that no one came to save them, that they were left all alone while still waiting for help both now and for the future.

Their anger is directed at the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and they denounce the absence of the state.

There is no food and there is no work, they say. At the same time, there is no water, no electricity, no heating and no warm clothes. They form queues but food and other supplies are not enough for everyone. In front of the humanitarian aid trucks, one sees only raised hands.

They think that they may not have died from the earthquake, but that they will die from cold and hunger. “We can’t do anything” they say.

At the same time, without a roof, a shelter, some water and food, the forecasts of the World Health Organization speak of a greater humanitarian disaster which has yet to come.

Now the investigations which are in progress concern the thousands of dead. Experts speak of tens of thousands of victims in the wreckage. Rescue searches have been completed in Diyarbakir, Adana, Osmaniye, while they are also ending in Kilis and Sanliufra. Ambulances are now being converted into hearses. Entire gymnasiums in morgues.

But some are still waiting for their own people to be alive. “How can I go to sleep when I know my brother is still in here and he might still be alive” says Ahmed. The rescuers tell him that no one is alive anymore, but Ahmed looks at the wreckage and desperately insists that he is still alive, that they must keep looking for him…

Aya means miracle in Arabic

At the same time, the death toll in Syria is rising. There, little Aya, which means miracle in Arabic, remains in the incubator. When she arrived at the maternity hospital, her body was covered in bruises and her breathing was weak. All of us saw her face the world for the first time and witnessed her birth, this miracle in the ruins.

To this day, the maternity hospital phone rings constantly. Thousands of people are asking to adopt her. Agia’s family, her mother, father and four brothers were buried alive. However, her doctor, Mr. Khalid Atia, who already has a daughter of only four months, is categorical. “I will not allow anyone to adopt her now. Until her distant relatives return, I will treat her as if she were my own child.” And he does, since his wife is breastfeeding the little one along with her own daughter.

Agia was born in the city of Tsidires. In this city people are still looking for their own. Rescue crews are few and far between. Efforts are mainly made by ordinary citizens at the risk of their lives, while the hourglass has now run out since the critical 72-hour window to locate survivors has now passed.

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