Students Share Points of View on Turkey Quake


Photo courtesy of AP Newsroom

A man walks among the debris of collapsed buildings in Hatay, southern Turkey, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. Emergency crews made a series of dramatic rescues in Turkey on Friday, pulling several people, some almost unscathed, from the rubble, four days after a catastrophic earthquake killed more than 20,000.

Destiny Albrecht, Staff writer

The countries of Turkey and Syria face devastating effects due to the latest earthquake, leaving approximately 22,000 dead and 80,000 physically, mentally and financially damaged, according to CNN.

The earthquake hit on Monday, Feb. 6, and many officials are saying that the death toll will continue throughout the recovery efforts. CNN stated that this earthquake has been the deadliest in over two decades, taking the seventh spot right below the Iran disaster in 2003.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Turkey, declared a three-month state of emergency due to the devastation to the land that was already suffering from the previous civil war.

“United Nations officials said that even before the earthquakes, nearly 70% of the population needed humanitarian assistance,” NBC News reported.

Rescue teams from other countries are working alongside Turkish rescuers nonstop to find survivors.

The earthquake destroyed many livelihoods. NBC reported that with “Monday’s early-morning 7.8-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter in Turkey, followed by a 7.5-magnitude aftershock,” there are many in need of intensive care.

Turkey and Syria received many apologies and prayers from families around the world. NBC said that many Americans are visiting news websites and watch the television program in hopes of good news from their recovery.

“I can only begin to imagine the scale of suffering and loss as a result of these dreadful tragedies,” King Charles states in an interview with NBC, “and I particularly wanted to convey our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy to the families of all those who have lost their loved ones.”

He’s not the only one with a deep regard for the people of these countries, but several EHS students with connections to Turkey are upset to hear about the traumatic event.

Junior Eda Demirer shared just how much her family has been impacted by the earthquake, given that they reside in the exact place that the disaster occurred.

“I have distant relatives that live in the area,” Demirer said. “Their apartments were completely destroyed, and they are forced to live in their cars. The weather is not favorable either, so it’s been a very rough time for them.” 

While the effects of the earthquake are making it difficult for affected families to make ends meet, they’re struggling with new information that was released, saying that the next earthquake will most likely hit near Istanbul.

“My family is in a complete state of panic,” Demirer said. “They’ve already begun to plan escape routes by packing their cars with [supplies]. They are very distraught, as are we, since we fear that the earthquake may be worse in a larger city.”

She’s keeping tabs and communicating with her relatives as much as possible, staying as updated and supportive as she can.

Senior Selin Aktuna also has family from Turkey, but luckily they live more toward the northern part of the country. Her family, however, is facing the disaster that is the government of Turkey.

According to Aktuna, the government is not getting the sufficient help that they need and the relief funds and donations are nowhere to be seen. People in Turkey are frustrated and suffering due to the lack of government involvement.

“They say they can hear people in the rubble calling for help but no one comes to rescue them,” Aktuna said. “It’s just so heartbreaking and the blow is absolutely devastating.”

With the citizens receiving little from the government, many have set up fundraisers in partnership with organizations such as the Red Cross. Aktuna emphasized that specific piece of information saying, “Please donate whatever you can; blankets, tents, water, diapers, etc. Anything and everything helps.”

While the earthquake may not be directly affecting many EHS students at home, don’t forget about fellow students and their relatives that are suffering right now due to this disaster.

“The lack of people watching the news is astounding,” Aktuna said. “So many people don’t even know it happened.”