Turkey mourns amidst quake ruins, thousands perish
Turkey mourns as earthquake devastation leaves tens of thousands dead
Millions of people in Turkey are mourning the loss of over 53,000 lives on the anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck southern Turkey a year ago. The government organized various events to mark what they termed the "Disaster of the Century."
Commemoration events and public reaction
In Antakya, the capital of Hatay province, where the earthquake caused significant destruction, crowds expressed anger and frustration towards government officials during the commemorations. Mayor Lutfu Savas faced chants demanding his resignation, while Health Minister Fahrettin Koca was met with jeers and boos. People gathered by the Orontes River, chanting slogans reminiscent of the cries for help from those trapped under the rubble a year ago. There were expressions of discontent towards both the government and opposition politicians for what was perceived as a lack of support and acknowledgment of the suffering endured by the affected communities.
Actions and reflections
A moment of silence was observed at 4:17 a.m., the exact time the earthquake struck, followed by a symbolic gesture of tossing carnations into the river as a tribute to the victims. In Adiyaman, a silent march was held past a clock tower that has displayed the time of the earthquake for the past year. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the quake's epicenter in Kahramanmaras to oversee reconstruction efforts and provide support to survivors. He acknowledged the ongoing pain caused by the disaster and expressed gratitude for the nation's resilience. Opposition leaders also visited the region to show solidarity with the affected communities. Schools were closed in many quake-affected provinces, and public displays outside official events were prohibited in some areas to honor the memory of the victims.