A thriving modern city of Turkey, Antakya of nearly 40,000 people and a cradle of Roman and Ottoman history now belongs to the birds and ghosts after two massive earthquakes on 6 Feb.
What is the Complete Story
On 6 February, two massive earthquakes occurred, destroying southern Turkey and causing devastation in Antakya. The city has completely gone dark with no people around.
People who survived the quakes fled the city with whatever they could carry, like laundry hanging on the line, passports in the drawer and family pictures on the wall. Now, it has become a city of ghosts.
Beautiful Place Before
A music instructor, Veli, made a statement that this (Antakya) was a beautiful place before. Veli added everything was supposed to be beautiful. He said this while gesturing towards the faded greenery in a park where kids used to play, and office colleagues used to have a break.
But everything is going to be perfect one day. Lastly, Velli opened his piano and began stroking the keys with tears in his eyes.
First to be Illuminated
Kurtulus street in Antakya was the first to be illuminated at night after the earthquakes. Habib-i Neccar is one of Anatolia’s oldest mosques situated at one end of the street and is now in ruins.
A stairway in St. Pierre Church on another end of the street was damaged, but its stone face was unharmed in quakes. The outside of a boutique hotel whose rooms were named after Greek goddesses and Hittite Kings are photocopied on a battered jean jacket and a container of baby food.
A 27-year-old local resident, Mustafa Ugur, came out of a residential building holding a cardboard box containing one of his friend’s pigeons. He said look at this; it’s wonderful while pulling the bird out. He added he came here to help the old uncle and take his pigeon to a safer place.
Some buildings in Antakya that remained upright somehow after the earthquake were crisscrossed with cracks. You can even snake through these cracks. However, the curtains move very slowly in the breeze due to holes in the walls and broken windows.
The High-Storey buildings are seen standing alone long feet away, whereas other buildings surrounding it have collapsed into a bunch of twisted metal and powder.
Only delicate items are able to survive in this disastrous event, such as a collection of vinegar and sauces fallen out of the refrigerator, frilly hair clips and passports safely settled in a drawer.
Colourful clothes covered in a film of dust found on the street were donated to the victims.