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The survivors who fled the devastation in Turkey found shelter in Sdeat: "The house shook, we have nowhere else to go" | Israel Hayom


​​​​​​​​Special report The survivors who fled the destruction in Turkey found shelter in Sdehat: "The house shook, we have nowhere else to go" A group of Israeli volunteers arrived in the Gaziantep area: "I am mentally preparing myself for difficult scenes" • Rashid arrived with His wife and 4-year-old daughter to the airport terminal outside the city: "I was sure my wife was dead"

On good days, Gaziantep, a city of more than 2 million people, is known for its archaeological museum, which houses the largest mosaic collection in the world.

Now, in particularly bad days, the capital of the mosaics has turned into bits and pieces of chaos.

Buildings instantly became a whirlwind of concrete piles, beneath which were the last remnants of life.

The goal of the volunteers of the Rescue Union, the rescue units and Israel - 41 people, religious, secular and ultra-Orthodox - is to quickly join the local forces and the delegation of the Home Front Command.

Everyone works vigorously in a race against time and against the intense cold, to try to save the buried alive.

The survivors of Gaziantep found shelter at the airport after their home was destroyed: "everything shook", photo: Yifat Ehrlich

Dor Friedman is one of the volunteers.

This is not the first time he leaves everything to help in an emergency.

Ten months ago he was in Moldova for 22 days, in a mission of the Rescue Union on the border of Ukraine, helping the war refugees.

Israeli aid

In Israel, he works as an ambulance driver, and volunteers at the rescue union on a heavy motorcycle.

Although he is used to the sight of wounded people, he knows that what awaits the expedition is much more complex, and especially heavy.

"You don't know where you're going to end up," he says.

"I am mentally preparing myself for difficult scenes of injuries to adults and children. I went on this expedition because it is important to me to help and contribute. It is something that also satisfies and fills the soul from the inside. It gives a boost to everyday life."

From a bird's eye view, Turkey looks peaceful.

From among the mists of the low clouds peep snow-capped mountains, small villages surrounded by vast agricultural areas.

The runway at the international airport near the city survived the earthquake.

One of the volunteers: "I prepare myself mentally for the difficult sights of the wounded."

Ruins in Turkey, photo: AP

The wheels of the plane, which has ten tons of life-saving equipment, touch the shaking ground.

Intense cold greets us.

An hour's drive separates us from the epicenter, but we are waiting at the airport for a bus and a truck with fuel, a sought-after commodity in a disaster area.

The delegation from Qatar is waiting like us, and the representatives of the Turkish Foreign Ministry welcome us and help with the logistical needs.

In one of the halls in the terminal there are about 40 local residents who remain homeless.

Most of them are family members of airport workers.

They find temporary shelter here.

The last night was spent here in the hall, with blankets on the floor.

They will do the same the following nights.

Here at least there is water and electricity.

Most of them are close to the television screen, which broadcasts live the harsh reality from which they fled.

We did one night in the car, but it is very difficult because of the cold.

Now we are here in the terminal, and we have nowhere else to go."

4-year-old Malek has been here for 24 hours with her parents.

She is a little frightened, and only smiles when chocolate is offered to her.

"Our house was damaged by the earthquake," says Rashid, her father.

"We are both teachers in Gaziantep. We spent one night in the car, but it is very difficult because of the cold. Now we are here at the terminal, and we have nowhere else to go."

Rashid recounted the moments of the earthquake: "Everything shook. It was the fear of God. I was sure my wife was dead, but I found her and the daughter, gathered them up and ran away together."

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2023-02-07

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