The recent Turkey earthquake has brought heartbreak and desperation to families in the United Kingdom with loved ones in the affected areas. With airports in Turkey shut, it’s proving impossible for families to reach their loved ones and assist in the aid efforts.
The damage and confusion caused by the earthquake has made it difficult to get an accurate picture of the situation, leaving families desperate for any news about their relatives.
Hayri Gul, a resident of North London, managed to get in touch with his friend’s son Hasan, who was in the city of Gaziantep at the time of the earthquake. Hasan described the terrifying moment when the earthquake struck, while he, his parents, brother, sister and grandmother were all sleeping.
He said, “The lamps were shaking. We were shaking also. We don’t know what we have to do. We were shocked. My sister was crying and my brother was screaming.” Hayri is relieved that Hasan and his family are alive, but is greatly concerned for those he can’t get in touch with. He said, “Some of them we can contact, some of them we can’t make contact. We are, you know, scared. We lost them. Maybe, you know, they die.”
Another friend in Turkey told Heidi of a similar story. He had gone to check on relatives in a small rural village only to find that his aunt had been killed, his uncle seriously injured, and their home in ruins. Neighbours were huddled around a makeshift fire trying to keep warm, and the friend is now trying to find ways to help.
Many people in North London are trying to get to Turkey to be with their loved ones and help in the aid efforts. However, with airports shut, it’s proving impossible for them to get there.
A Turkish politician who was visiting the UK at the time of the earthquake is also desperate to return home, but can’t due to the airport closures. She said
“The best thing I can do to help my people over there, to repeat that call for help. And we are calling for help from all over the world, all over the people, because this is not going to be over one night. It’s not going to be over when all the people or their death bodies are rescued from these buildings. They are going to be a long period of time. They are going to need housing. They are going to need food.”SERA KADIGIL
For now, all the Turkish community in North London can do is wait and hope for the best. The devastation caused by the earthquake has left many families and loved ones struggling to come to terms with the situation and the long road ahead.
However, they are not giving up hope and are calling for help from all over the world to support their loved ones in this time of need.