Earthquake in Turkey: the city of Mersin welcomes the survivors of the disaster

Rémy Trieau (special envoy to Mersin)

The city of Mersin, located in southern Turkey, was spared by the earthquake. It now welcomes survivors of the disaster. The city is overwhelmed and the inability of state agencies to manage the crisis is increasingly criticized.

In Turkey and Syria, three weeks after the double earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people, the humanitarian situation is turning into an absolute tragedy. Faced with the extent of the destruction, the survivors try to flee as far as possible. More than two million have taken the road of exodus, according to the Turkish authorities. Some have taken refuge in Mersin, a seaside resort in the south of the country spared by the earthquake. The city is overwhelmed by the influx of refugees.

“We’ll be back, that’s for sure”

Essen and her daughter have found a place in a university residence transformed into a shelter for earthquake victims. This merchant from Antioch lost her home and business in the earthquake. “Since we closed, we have been unemployed, we have no income and no savings. I have no alternative. I have to stay there with my daughter”, explains Essen at the microphone Europe 1. Like Essen, more than 400 survivors sleep in a center opened by the town hall of Mersin. But Essen swears that she will return as soon as possible to Antioch: “We will return, that’s for sure”.

Solidarity is essential

In the meantime, the displaced are looking for accommodation but the market is saturated with demand. Ahmed, another survivor of the earthquake, is desperate to find a home: “We want to rent, but we can’t find anything. The rents have gone up. We are being asked for 10,000 Turkish liras”. A huge part of these victims are now surviving thanks to the solidarity of their compatriots while the inability of state agencies to manage the crisis is increasingly criticized.

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