A Syrian family of 15 whose home was damaged in the İzmir earthquake have been given a single tent to live in, leaving eight to sleep outside in the local park.
Since the 6.9 magnitude earthquake in which 115 people lost their lives, hundreds of families with damaged homes have had to live in tents. One of these families is the Al Hasan family, who moved from Manbij to Antep, and from there moved to İzmir eight years ago, where they settled in an apartment in the Bayraklı district.
According to the Mesopotamia Agency (MA), some family members have to sleep outside in the neighbourhood Barış Manço Park, as only one tent was provided for the whole family.
One of the family members, Hale Al Hasan (25), has three children. She explained that after the start of the civil war in Syria they fled to Turkey. Before the war, life was cheap, but during the war things became increasingly desperate and “we could not find bread”, she said.
Hale said, “I was very scared for my children during the earthquake. I ran away from war, but I thought my children were going to die here. After the earthquake, we are left with this tent. Tents are very cold, and children will be sick. They do not allow us to enter the house, so we could not collect any belongings”.
Eight family members stay outside the tent because there is not room for them, including Hale’s mother, who has several health conditions, including high blood pressure and diabetes. Hale added that her husband, who is a building worker, often had difficulties in meeting their needs because of not being able to find a proper job.
Her brother Hassan Al Hasan (20) lost friends in the Syrian civil war when he was 12 years old. He works in a restaurant in the city, and said when the earthquake happened he was most concerned for his bedridden mother.
Hassan said, “Since my mother could not get out of bed, we got her out of the house with the help of the neighbours. When I saw that my mother was okay, I left the earthquake area. I stayed with our relatives in Çiğli for five days because I had an incident while I helped the rescue of six people, who were under the rubble of the destroyed Rıza Bey apartment. We came here later, but they say there are not tents available for two days. So we stay outside in the park”.