About a year after the devastating earthquakes in Turkey that killed tens of thousands, families and relatives say they are still desperately searching for more than 100 people still missing.
No fewer than 145 people, among them 38 children, were believed to be missing, Sema Güleç, secretary general of the local association of families DEMAK, said on Thursday in Ankara.
Families had so far been unable to locate the missing, though they had waited by the debris until it was cleared, then checked with the authorities and searched hospitals, said Güleç.
The association called for a parliamentary commission of inquiry and wanted certain graves to be opened to take DNA samples.
Turkey’s Interior Ministry had not yet provided any data on the number of missing people after the earthquakes.
Family Minister Mahinur Özdemir Göktaş claimed in January that no child was missing.
On February 6, 2023, two earthquakes measuring 7.7 and 7.6 rocked south-eastern Turkey, killing more than 53,000 people, according to official data.
Cuma Aburşu is still searching for his two nieces whom he says are still missing after their apartment in Kahramanmaraş province collapsed.
The authorities recently informed him that no matching DNA samples had yet been found, Aburşu said, adding he continued to believe that his nieces are alive.
Fatih Karaca, who lost his wife in the earthquake in Gaziantep province, had since been looking for his missing 14-year-old daughter İrem.
Three days after the quake, friends saw İrem playing with her classmates but she had since disappeared, Karaca said.
“I have never given up hope that she is alive and would continue to search for her, no matter how long,” Karaca adds. (dpa/NAN)