Turkish community in Oklahoma City rocked by tragic earthquakes
The tragedy in Turkey and Syria continues after another deadly earthquake struck the area Monday afternoon. This happened two weeks after a 7.8 magnitude quake occurred killing thousands of people and destroying countless buildings. While that happened across the sea people are grieving throughout the world. The Turkish community in Oklahoma says they are deeply mourning and are calling for help from their fellow Oklahomans.
“I feel so sorry for them, I wasn’t there, I couldn’t help them,” said Oklahoma resident Sabit Yilmaz as he choked back tears. Yilmaz lost four family members in the Turkey earthquakes. His family was out looking for survivors when their building collapsed as well.
Yilmaz is not the only one. Muhammad Sezer, the executive director of the Raindrop Turkish House in OKC, said almost every member in their community has lost a loved one in the earthquakes while others are desperately waiting to hear from a family member.
“People are still under the rubble of collapsed buildings. Some of them are alive but unfortunately most of them are dead,” Sezer explained.
He also said people are not only dying from injuries received in the quakes but also from hunger and lack of shelter. The earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have left thousands of people starving and homeless in the middle of winter.
The news rocked the community and has left them feeling lost as they try to navigate life day by day.
“I didn’t go to school, I didn’t answer any phone calls except my families. Many of my friends called, they know what was going on. I didn’t answer their text message, I just cried and cried,” said Yilmaz.
As the community members join together and mourn their loved ones they are holding different events to honor those who were lost and to help those currently suffering.
“I think as Oklahoman’s we have to do our best to help the people of Turkey,” said Sezer.