Turkish residents in Newcastle speak of devastation after deadly earthquake tears tore through country

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The Turkish community in Newcastle spoke out on the devastation of the deadly earthquake.

Newcastle’s Turkish community have spoken of their devastation in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake which has torn through Turkey and Syria.

The powerful 7.8 magnitude quake rocked the countries, decimating cities and causing destruction across the south east region of Turkey.

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It is feared more than 20,000 have been killed in the disaster.

Today (Tuesday, February 7), Turkish residents spoke of their grief and fear as friends and family remain trapped in the rubble.

Dad-of-three Yilmaz Karakus, 44, is a taxi driver from Gölbaşı, Adiyaman, who has lived in the UK for 23 years.

Speaking from the the Turkish Community Centre in Benwell, Newcastle, he said: “A mother and baby on my mother’s side of the family have died in the rubble. It’s very sad. We are all devastated.

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“Because the mam and baby in the rubble no-one could touch them. A lot of villages do not have electricity or telephones so we don’t know what’s happening. We are trying to raise money for supplies, it’s very important to help them.”

Yunus Kandemir, 41, also a taxi driver from Gölbaşı, Adiyaman who has lived in the UK for 21 years, added: “Cities have been completely demolished.

“We heard people are screaming under the buildings asking to be saved.“Only one or two apartment buildings have been rescued. Some of my family on my father’s side are out there but we haven’t heard anything yet.“It’s terrifying because we don’t know how they are doing or if they are safe. A lot of the roads are closed and people cannot be rescued yet. They desperately need food and medical supplies.”

Tuncay Esnernezoglu, 43, a taxi driver from Gaziantep, who has lived in Newcastle for 20 years, said: “I have two family friends who are stuck under the rubble. Their ten storey apartment building collapsed on top of them. The building went from ten stories to one in an instant.

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Turkish residents in NewcastleTurkish residents in Newcastle
Turkish residents in Newcastle

“Only 50 or 60 people from the entire building were reduced. It has been very hard. I have been crying for the last couple of days. We have been in shock, nothing like this has ever happened before. Many people in the region have not been able to get into their homes.”

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