In the south of Turkey, after the earthquake of February 6, the more the days pass, the more the hopes of finding the living under the rubble dwindle. Many families have got used to the idea, but still want to recover the bodies so they can bury them. Report from Iskenderun, in the Hatay region, one of the most affected.
In the ruins of Iskenderun, Mustafa, a rescuer from Istanbul, has been searching the same rubble for three days. He begins to lose hope. “In total, there are a hundred people under this building. We continue to search for them, but we no longer hear any signs of life, ”he says.
In front of the pile of rubble, an old building of seven floors. Several families wait around a fire. Since Monday, they have installed tents, generators and logs as chairs. Suna wants at all costs to be present if the body of one of her family members is found. “Today,” she said, “four bodies were taken out. My brother, my mother, my father and my aunt. »
Veli, a cousin, will not leave until he finds all his family members after this tragic earthquake in Turkey. Whether they are alive or dead: “Yesterday we had some hope, maybe 5%, but today, no chance. I know I can’t say that, because we need hope, but I also know that no one can survive under this kind of building for three and a half days without water. I don’t believe it anymore, even if I still want to believe it. We try at least to find the bodies in one piece, to bury them with dignity. »
Descended from the rubble, a rescuer brings Suna a sweater, possibly that of a family member. The young woman closes her eyes, sniffs it, then slips it into a bag, along with all the objects that Veli has recovered. “For the moment, it is mainly the photos that matter to us,” he explains. Today, I have found more than a hundred, I collect them all, in their memory. It’s the only thing I can do now. »
Traces of memory, they will soon need them to collect themselves. But right now is not the time to cry, they say, we have to keep looking.