The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

'I couldn't save my daughter': the story behind the defining image of the earthquake in Turkey


Few images have captured the devastation of the past week as clearly as a photograph by Mesut Hancer.

Father holds on to the hand of his daughter trapped under rubble in Turkey 0:57

(CNN) --

It's been a week since a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing more than 36,000 people.

Many tens of thousands more have been injured.

Millions could be left homeless.

  • Hope after tragedy: the emotional rescues of survivors after the earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Few images have captured the devastation of the past week as clearly as a photograph by Mesut Hancer.

Mesut Hancer holds the hand of his 15-year-old daughter Irmak, who died in the Kahramanmaras, Turkey, earthquake near the epicenter on February 7.

(Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images)

He was pictured holding the hand of his 15-year-old daughter, Irmak, under rubble in the southern Turkish city of Kahramanmaras, near the epicenter of the quake.

He said that she died at the time of the earthquake, with no chance of escape.

In an interview with CNN Turk on Saturday, Hancer spoke about the lives behind the image that has come to define last week's tragic disaster.

Irmak had been visiting his grandmother, Hancer said, and spent three days trying to dig her body out of the rubble.

"It was horrible. As soon as I heard the news, I ran there. And with my own hands, under my own power, with great effort I tried to get my daughter out. Unfortunately, however, I couldn't save my daughter," Hancer said. .


Mother and daughter are rescued 107 hours after the earthquake 0:56

"Besides losing a mother, father or siblings, losing a child is another level of despair," he said.

When Hancer arrived at the disaster site, the dire reality of the situation became apparent.

“I had no hope because there was a big beam on my daughter.

Her waist up was free but from her waist down she was under rubble,” she was crushed, she said.

“Unfortunately, during the earthquake, she died right there.

She had no chance of surviving."

Hancer said she spent three days trying to dig her daughter's body out of the rubble.

“With my own effort, with my own means, I got to her.

I couldn't ask anyone for help, because there are a lot of people under the rubble, ”she said.

Seven members of his family ended up under the rubble, Hancer told CNN Turk.

(Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images)

The death toll in Turkey has reached 31,643, Turkey's SAKOM Emergency Coordination Center said on Monday.

The confirmed death toll in Syria is 4,574.

Rescue efforts are continuing in both countries, but authorities have been overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster.

More than 5,700 buildings in Turkey have collapsed, according to the country's disaster agency.

“I also spoke with AFAD [the Presidency of Disaster and Emergency Management in Turkey], and they helped as much as they could.

But they said they couldn't provide a bulldozer to that area,” Hancer said.

Hancer is grieving not only for his daughter.

The earthquake occurred when several members of his family had traveled from different parts of Turkey to his mother's house, where his daughter was staying.

48 hours left to rescue survivors in Turkey and Syria 1:06

“My mother, my two older brothers, my sister-in-law and her little daughter.

There were seven people, including my daughter.

They were all under the rubble," Hancer said.

Hancer's home was also badly damaged, he said, adding that he has nowhere to stay.

“We cannot enter our house because we do not have the means.

We stayed out."

Thousands of families face similar pain and devastation.

Meanwhile, amid mounting public anger over the government's response to the disaster, Turkish authorities have carried out a wave of arrests of property developers accused of “negligence” over building collapses due to last week's earthquake.

earthquake in turkey

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2023-02-14

You may like

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.