Türkiye (Turkey) Syria Earthquake: The aftermath
Four stories from people in Türkiye (Turkey).
"I am here because I need to be, volunteering for me completes hopes and dreams that are left unfinished." Volunteer Berfin. Tineke D'haese/Oxfam
We need to show solidarity with all of those impacted by the earthquake.”
Berfin Akdeniz, Oxfam Volunteer in Türkiye (Turkey).
At an industrial park on the outskirts of Gaziantep, Türkiye (Turkey), Berfin, a student, checks and rechecks vital supplies for a local hospital. The nappies and babygrows in all sizes are a clear reminder of those made most vulnerable by the earthquakes that hit Türkiye and Syria in February.
Berfin, who plans to train as a teacher, is volunteering with her friends in a distribution centre run jointly by Oxfam affiliate and partners in Türkiye.
“I am here because I need to be,” Berfin says.
The Oguz family from Gaziantep don’t know if they have a house to return to. They have lost everything. Image: Tineke D'haese/Oxfam
This one was different, this one was terrible.”
Emine Oguz with her family in southern Türkiye.
Emine Oguz, and her family were amongst the 13 million families in southern Türkiye who have been affected. She says she jumped from her bed when the earthquake hit her home.
Somehow, she and her two sons, daughter in law, and two grandchildren managed to get outside, where they stood in the bitter cold watching everything shake violently for two hours. Eventually, the freezing temperatures outside outweighed the danger in their home, and her elder son ran back inside to get blankets. A neighbour suggested they go to a shelter they knew of to escape the cold.
After making the long walk there, they slept on the floor. But at least they were safe, and warm. It is loud and busy, but in some areas, people sit in silence, in grief.
Oguz is sixty years old and has lived through two other earthquakes in her life, but says “this one was different, this one was terrible.” She says when she is sitting down, it feels like her legs are shaking. “My legs don’t work how they used to.”
"We don’t think about the future, living through this we are only surviving." Aziza and family in Turkiye. Image: Tineke D'haese/Oxfam
I am worried for my children that they will get sick in this cold, some of my family are already unwell.”
Aziza Ahmed in in southern Türkiye.
Aziza says she was asleep in her bed when the earthquake hit her home in Gaziantep, southern Türkiye. In those few vital moments, she managed to rush her son and two daughters, and her father-in-law safely outside, where they watched their family home collapse.
They immediately felt the freezing temperature outside but they had all left without any warm clothing.
Her neighbour is kindly letting them use their bathroom, but they are cooking on an open fire and sleeping in sub-zero temperatures.
“I am worried for my children that they will get sick in this cold, some of my family are already unwell.”
"When I looked at the walls, I felt like they were moving towards me, so we went to a wide space to keep us safe." Ali in Turkiye with his family. Image: Tineke D'haese/Oxfam
We were shaking and we were so scared; I thought it was my last day.”
Ali, a musician from Gaziantep, southern Türkiye with his family.
Ali, a musician from Gaziantep, southern Türkiye has sought refuge in a warehouse alongside 7,000 other survivors.
He described what it was like when the earthquake hit their home.
“When I looked at the walls, I felt like they were moving towards me, so we went to a wide space to keep us safe. In Marash, we have lost some of our family members. My cousin died in the earthquake. He was 26 or 27 years old, and my cousin’s nephew was 11. We lost my brother-in-law, also.”
Oxfam delivering water to shelters in Aleppo city. Image: Islam Mardini/ Oxfam
Please donate what you can today
Oxfam Emergency Response
The scale of destruction is vast. Following two big earthquakes and over 60 aftershocks, people are still in shock and fear.Meryem Aslan, Oxfam spokesperson in Ankara.