A seven-day mourning period was announced on Monday evening in Turkey and the north over the earthquake that left over 3,000 dead in Turkey and Syria.
Relatives and a ‘civil defence’ team have flown from the north to Adiyaman in Turkey, where a volleyball team from north Famagusta was staying. They had flown for a championship and the team included a total of 28 students and their escorts.
The flight from the north comprised of the ‘civil defence’ as well as relatives of the 28 students. They were staying at the Isias hotel which has completely collapsed, according to reports.
Turkish Cypriot Bayrak quoated Fatma Demirel as saying that when she went to the site at 10am she found that one teacher and three parents were in good health. It seems that they were staying at the hotel but managed to get out alive.
One of the mothers who went on the special flight to Adiyaman told the Turkish Cypriot channel Sim that for 18 hours no work had been done on the ruins of the hotel where their children are and that this morning only four parents were able to save themselves.
“There are no news of our children, whoever we asked told us that no children came out of there,” Fariha Yiturk said. “The eight storey hotel has completely collapsed.”
Rescue work, she added, began when the team from the north arrived there, late on Monday afternoon.
Transport ‘minister’ Erhan Arikli announced that the same plane that took the parents of the missing children and the rescue team to Adiyaman will bring back 16 students and two teachers of another volleyball team, from a high school in north Famagusta, who were in the same town, but stayed in another hotel and managed to be rescued.
Another 180 people, he added, are expected tonight on a special flight to Adana and from there to affected areas where their relatives are staying.
The same will be done by three ferry services tonight and in total, about 1,700 people will go to Turkey free of charge to find their relatives in the earthquake-affected areas, Arikli said.