On February 6 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Türkiye (formerly known as Turkey), followed by a second 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
Aleu lives with her husband and two children Beste (1) and Boris (4) in Azurs district in Türkiye.
With Beste in her arms, Aleu sat down with us to share her experience and the impact the earthquakes have had on her family’s life.
“We are afraid to be inside”
Before the earthquakes, Aleu’s home was a source of security and comfort. Now, they are too afraid to sleep inside, instead sleeping in a small camping tent outside the house that barely fits the four of them.
“There are cracks to the walls, damage to the furniture, cracks to the foundation. We are waiting for our house to be assessed for the severity of the damage, so we still do not know how secure the house is. Until we know, we are afraid to be inside.”
"We were just waiting to die"
“My biggest concern as a parent is that my children are not protected properly. In the first two days after the earthquake, we were just waiting to die. We had no help. No food. I was afraid that if something happened to me, who would take care of them?
Boris is very scared and has trouble going to the toilet. I am trying to find a professional who could support him, but it’s been difficult. Right now, my children are very dependent on me. Beste is also struggling. Although she doesn’t understand that much, she always wants to be comforted and hugged. She seems more nervous around me.
Finding comfort amidst disaster
Because of the fear of sleeping in her home, Aleu chooses to spend much of her day outside. Her family love their garden, mainly tended to by Aleu’s mother.
As Türkiye transitions into Spring, the family are seeking much comfort and enjoyment from spending time in their garden. From the lemon tree to Aleu’s mother’s flowers growing in old cheese containers, you can see how much pride the family takes in their living space.
How is ShelterBox helping?
Although Aleu does not know what the future holds, she shares her hopes.
“I want my city to return to normal and I hope that my children’s schools recover from the earthquake and that they can receive a good education. I hope to move back into my home eventually.
We are providing crucial shelter items to families like Aleu’s affected by the earthquakes. In partnership with Rotary, we have supported Aleu and her family with a new tent, a hygiene kit, a mattress, and a blanket.
“For now, we have been sleeping in a small camping tent outside the house. We then use our home to cook, do laundry, and everything else. We are thankful to have received a new tent so that we can sleep comfortably at night.”
Image below: Sezgin Pancar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images