From our special correspondent in Turkey – Three days after the earthquakes that ravaged Turkey, Alatar, a village about thirty kilometers from Gaziantep, in the south of the country, the inhabitants live in the greatest destitution. Some have their car as their only refuge. Reporting.
“We have nowhere to go. It’s cold. We’re freezing.” Shawl on her head, wrapped in a navy blue puffer jacket, she sobs. Sitting on the scree, in front of a totally destroyed house, this resident of Atalar waits. The two earthquakes that bruised Turkey on Monday, February 6, made her and her family homeless.
“Adults, children…everyone is wandering in the street. We have nothing left. We are outside with our four children,” she repeats, adding that they have “made makeshift tents” in the center -town of Gaziantep, about thirty kilometers away. “We have no news of our loved ones. Everyone is dead, she sighs, her voice choking with emotion. May God help Turkey and its people. I have no words. God , help us !”
“The government does nothing”
In this mountain village, the concrete block constructions did not resist. The violence of the tremors literally ripped open the frail houses. Meter after meter, in the ascending alleys covered with icy snow, the dwellings reveal the intimacy of those who lived there. Bedrooms open to the four winds, furniture shattered on the floor, clothes… all visited by animals left to their own devices.
Some residents still try to save what they can. Like these women sorting out a few plates, sometimes letting out a gasp of pain. Desperation can be seen on their faces.
A little further, volunteers distribute hot meals. Pasta with sauce, a small soup, all prepared by the inhabitants of a neighboring village to bring some comfort to those who have lost everything.
“The government does nothing, loose Okkesh between bites. They still haven’t come to see us. There is no tent, no shelter. People live in their cars.” This round-faced man in his fifties explains that the inhabitants of Alatar had to search for the survivors without waiting for assistance. “We pulled a lot of corpses out of the rubble. People were buried for two days. Two days without eating.”
Like many in the village, Okkesh no longer has a roof over his head. “For three days, our house has been here, he said, pointing to his vehicle. There are five of us inside.”
“Give only to those who need it”
While waiting for the installation of tents like those which begin to appear in the provinces most affected by the disaster, each aid truck is taken by storm. One of them just stopped.
Men, women, children rush to the vehicle which distributes, juggling, bread, water and clothes. “Only give one per person,” a volunteer belched out, offering a bag of bread as tempers flared slightly. “If someone comes back, don’t give them anything. Only give to those who need it. “
In less time than it takes to tell, the back of the truck is completely empty. Proof that the needs are enormous for this population convinced of having been forgotten.
Source: France 24