April 2, 2023

Pazarcık, Turkey — Suat Yenipınar was in his fifth-floor house together with his grandson, when final week’s earthquake woke him up.

“When the earthquake occurred I grabbed him and tried to flee the constructing, however we hit the partitions and fell over, so I simply coated him with my physique to guard him if the constructing collapsed,” the 60-year-old native journalist recalled. . “After the quake was over we acquired out immediately — items have been falling off the constructing.”

Yenipınar resides in a tent now subsequent to a Purple Crescent cellular kitchen, on this city, near the epicenter of the earthquake.

Greater than 450 folks have died in Pazarcık, which had about 28,000 folks residing there on the time. It has an official inhabitants of about 68,000 folks however many residents work overseas, particularly in Germany. Now there are solely between 4,000 and 5,000 folks left, in response to estimates of locals.

The earthquake has additionally killed one thing else — the newspaper that Yenipınar introduced out from the constructing, which is now badly broken.

Titled Aksu Haber Gazetesi, the newspaper’s final version ran on February 3, the Friday earlier than the earthquakes which have to date killed greater than 41,000 folks in Turkey and northwest Syria. It now stands as a reminder of a time frozen in eternity—the previous few days earlier than the town was decimated.

“Life in Pazarcık is over after the earthquake, all of the buildings need to be demolished,” he mentioned.

The office of Suat Yenipınar's newspaper in Pazarcık, Turkey, seen here on February 16, 2023 [Patrick Keddie/Al Jazeera]
The broken workplace of Suat Yenipınar’s newspaper in Pazarcık, Turkey, seen right here on February 16, 2023 [Patrick Keddie/Al Jazeera]

He mentioned he stays appreciative of the federal government. “Thank God to the federal government, they gave us greater than we deserve,” Yenipınar mentioned.

On the identical time, he criticized the authorities. He mentioned that he’ll transfer to a different metropolis when he can as a result of he has no religion that Pazarcık can be rebuilt.

“I do not belief politicians, at this time they are saying one factor, tomorrow one other,” Yenipınar mentioned. “I do not see it being totally rebuilt. The cash collected yesterday—let’s wait and see how a lot of that’s wasted.” TV fundraising pulled in additional than $6bn on Wednesday.

His house partitions are cracked, and particles is piled on what was his furnishings.

Simply throughout the road from his house block is rubble—all that is still of a constructing that collapsed, killing two of Yenipınar’s buddies.

Ahmet Efe, 36, is an earthquake survivor from Pazarcık. [Patrick Keddie/Al Jazeera]
Ahmet Efe, 36, is an earthquake survivor from Pazarcık. [Patrick Keddie/Al Jazeera]

‘Shaken like yogurt’

But amid the devastation, house and camaraderie survive.

Ahmet Efe’s home was badly broken and he’s staying in a container home donated by an Istanbul-based well being firm. The 36-year-old helps different survivors by delivering photo voltaic panel chargers.

“A man from Kayseri [a central Turkish city] designed it and a number of other corporations are working collectively to provide them,” he mentioned of the chargers. “The lightbulb offers mild all night time, and you may cost a telephone by connecting the USB port to a 12-volt plug.”

Efe mentioned that the earthquake was so sturdy that he couldn’t even shout something when it occurred.

“You understand Ayran [a yoghurt drink], Earlier than consuming it you must shake it. It was like that – being shaken up and down, facet to facet – for 2 minutes,” he mentioned. “At the moment, I could not do something, I needed to shout to my spouse however could not.”

Not like Yenipınar, Efe wasn’t prepared to surrender on Pazarcık.

“Proper now we’ve no clue what is going on to occur,” he mentioned. “However we will simply rebuild – there may be cash right here, we will do it.”

Reporting by Patrick Keddie in Pazarcık, Turkey

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