Burcu Özkaya Günaydın / Gazete Duvar
Two siblings in Turkey’s quake-torn Hatay province died on Jan. 7 as an electrical fire broke out in the container home the Hüzmeli family was staying in after the Feb. 6, 2023 earthquakes.
Siblings four-year-old İsacan and one-year-old Doğa died in the fire, whereas mother Zeynep and one-year-old Duru escaped.
The family had survived the earthquakes and relocated to a container house installed in the garden of their collapsed home in the Samandağ district.
Officials believed that the fire was caused by the power line the family pulled from a nearby lamppost to supply the container.
Neighbors reported that the family had called the electricity supplier company multiple times before the fire to request a connection to no avail. The electricity distribution company (TEDAŞ) arrived after the fire and connected the house.
Neighbors also reported that the family was living in a tent until two months ago, and they had recently set up the container house.
The neighbors complained about the destitute state of the neighborhood since the earthquake. Street lights were not working, so the area fell completely dark in the night, they reported.
Özgür Özel, the head of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), gave his condolences through a social media post. He continued, "As (President) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan mocks the opposition and introduces new candidates, this is happening in the earthquake region. Hundreds of thousands of people are abandoned, and try to cling to life in tents and container units despite many promises of the government."
Özel continued, "We will not forget even if the government does, we will not be silent. We will defend our citizens in the earthquake region's right to live honorable lives."
Hatay Samandağ’da depremzede bir ailenin yaşadığı prefabrik evde çıkan yangında evlatlarımız İsacan ve Doğa’yı kaybettik bugün.— Özgür Özel (@eczozgurozel) January 7, 2024
Tayyip Erdoğan muhalefete hakaretler edip aday tanıtırken, deprem bölgelerinde yaşanan dram tam da bu.
11 aydır kaderine terk edilen, vaatlere rağmen…
The two deadly Feb. 6 earthquakes killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey's southeastern region and destroyed thousands of buildings. Tens of thousands of people have been living in temporary housing units even eleven months after the earthquakes.
The tents, containers, and prefabricated units are exposed to elements, and many residents have been aggrieved by the lack of official assistance. The poor hygiene conditions and infrastructural shortcomings continue to burden the quake-torn peoples in the region.
(English version by Ayşenaz Toptaş)