* Photo: Anadolu Agency (AA)
Click to read the article in Turkish
It has been 21 years since a major earthquake struck western Marmara region in Turkey on August 17, 1999. The memory of those who lost their lives in the earthquake was commemorated in Golcuk, Kocaeli earlier today.
Given that the earthquake struck at 3.02 AM 21 years ago, a wreath was laid at the earthquake memorial on the coast of the Kavakli Sea at 3.02 in the morning.
Revival ceremonies were also held in Yalova and Sakarya. In Yalova, citizens walked in silence to the earthquake. In Sakarya, a movie was shown that includes interviews with the victims.
“The grief of losing a child …”
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) at the memorial ceremony in Golcuk, Hülya Doliker, 59, who was herself trapped under the rubble and lost her two children in the earthquake, said for a short time:
“I was trapped under the rubble. We were rescued after six hours. My pelvis was broken. They said that I was paralyzed. If my son is alive, he will be 38 years old today and my daughter is 35. I put my daughter to rest in Golcuk, we found my son in Sivas after 10 Days, he was buried there, I came to this memorial ceremony from Istanbul, sorrow refreshed.
“Grief over the loss of a child is never forgotten. The moment you die and meet them, only then will you be relieved of this sadness. God forbid even one person suffers such grief.”
‘We recovered our mother’s body after 40 days’
Ilker Ozkap, 45, who was trapped under the rubble of his home in Golcuk and could reach her mother’s body after just 40 days, said:
“Our house collapsed in the Gölcük Merkez neighborhood (center). I collapsed. I lost my mother. We were pulling her out of the rubble after about 40 days. We had really difficult times. We had really bad memories. There were many shortcomings at that time.
“The intervention was delayed, the debris was removed too late. The bodies were recovered too late. I can also reach the body of our deceased mother very late. It seems that I still have time to live until I survived. I was a news camera operator in Istanbul.” I was on vacation when the earthquake hit, we also lost some of our relatives, and we had a lot of sadness.
About the Golcuk earthquake
On August 17, 1999 the Marmara region lived the longest 45 seconds in its history. The 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the Golcuk region of Kocaeli at 03.02 am caused damage not only in Kocaeli, but also in neighboring cities such as Istanbul, Yalova and Sakarya.
According to official figures, 17,840 people lost their lives in the earthquake. While 43,953 people were injured, and 505 were permanently disabled. Dozens of people were lost.
According to the report prepared by the Investigation Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) established to analyze earthquake risks and determine the precautions to be taken in earthquake management, it is estimated that about 50 thousand people have been killed and 100,000 people injured. In the earthquake in Golcuk.
285,211 homes and 42,902 businesses were severely damaged in the earthquake. 133,683 buildings collapsed and nearly 600,000 people were displaced.
The earthquake that struck the industrial center of the country has caused irreparable damage to the Turkish economy. Oil refineries, petrochemical facilities, metallurgical facilities, automobiles, paper and plastic mills, raw material facilities, etc. had to stop production. The total cost of the earthquake has been calculated at $ 20 billion. (TP / SD)
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