Before Monday’s earthquake destroyed their plans for a future together, Yunus Emre Kaya and his fiancée Gulcin were engaged.
Two days later, Kaya said his final goodbyes to his fiancée by opening a black bodybag to reveal her body in a sports hall where the disaster’s casualties had been spread out. He gave her one final hug. Their April wedding was scheduled.
“I was going to dress her in a bridal gown, but now I’m going to dress her in a funeral shroud,” he added, speaking from a sports arena in Karamanmaras, close to the epicenter of the earthquake that left more than 9,000 people dead in southern Turkey.
Gulcin, 24, a textile worker, was introduced to him three years ago when he completed his military service When she was sixteen years old, he claimed that her death had left him speechless.
Imagine being unable to stand up because someone has bound your wrists and feet. There is no water, no food, and no air,” he declared.
I am the way I am. I resemble the living dead.
When the earthquake hit his house “like an explosion” just after 4 a.m. on Monday, Kaya was asleep at home.
He grabbed his mother and led her outside before running nonstop for ten minutes to Gulcin’s home.
He discovered her house in ruins. Screams came from individuals who were trapped below and there were persons in the debris. Later, he discovered that Gulcin and her sister had both passed away.
A heartbreaking interview with a Syrian man named Malek Ibrahim, 40, who escaped the earthquake in Idlib with his wife and children but has not heard from 30 other relatives who are still missing elsewhere.
In Besnaya, a community located 40 kilometres away in northwest Syria near to the Turkish border, Malek has so far rescued 10 family members from the rubble:
The entire family has left. It is a total genocide. I am reminded of our wonderful times together each time we recover a body. Before, we used to laugh and joke around, but never now. I won’t ever run into them again. In the hopes that someone may be alive, we dig all night long. It’s a feeling I can’t describe, a tragedy.
According to a Syrian doctor, the magnitude of the earthquake’s injuries on Monday was worse than the 11-year civil war that had previously ravaged the nation. A 34-year-old Aleppo-born surgeon who works in a hospital close to the Turkish border told the agency:
This is a terrible tragedy. I experienced bombardment and atrocities. This is completely new, terrible, and horrible. Every medical team’s capacity was exceeded by the initial, enormous surge of patients.
In contrast to the limited waves of cases arriving for treatment due to aerial bombing and shelling, the earthquake has resulted in 500 patients being brought in daily, necessitating numerous procedures.
Many of the injured die within an hour or two as a result of trauma shock, heart failure or bleeding, especially since the weather is cold and they would have been under the rubble for eleven or twelve hours.”