TRNC President Ersin Tatar: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus devastated following catastrophic earthquake in Türkiye


President Ersin Tatar has stated that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus  (TRNC) has been devastated due to the deaths of thousands of people  following a catastrophic earthquake – as the bodies of TRNC citizens  including young sportsmen – have began to be repatriated back to the  country. 

The President said the country has been left in deep sorrow as the bodies of  children of the school volleyball team and two teachers were repatriated to  the TRNC on Friday morning, after they were found under the rubble of the  collapsed building of the Isias Hotel in Adıyaman. 

The TRNC, which sees the Republic of Türkiye as its motherland with deep  historic ties, which also provides political and economic support to the  country, is currently holding a seven-day mourning in solidarity and support  to Türkiye – following the earthquake which has affected the south-eastern  region of the country. 

President Tatar stated: “The TRNC is feeling the deep pain and shock at the  deaths of thousands of people following the devastating earthquake in  Türkiye and are standing in full solidarity with our Motherland. The bodies of  10 TRNC citizens – including seven students, two teachers and one parent,  have been repatriated from Adıyaman, at around 3.30am, following intense  search and rescue efforts. 

“I wish to express my heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families,  loved ones and the whole of our country at this time of great mourning and  sadness.”

A state ceremony was held at Ercan airport on Friday morning. Emotional  moments were lived as the coffins – draped in the flags of Türkiye and TRNC  – were carried from the aircraft by families. 

President Ersin Tatar, Speaker of the Parliament Zorlu Töre, Prime Minister  Ünal Üstel, Turkish Ambassador to Lefkoşa Metin Feyzioğlu, Republican  Turkish Party leader Tufan Erhürman, ministers, MP’s, military personnel and  other officials were also present. 

The names of the students, teachers and parents who lost their lives in the  earthquake and were repatriated are as follows: İbrahim Yakula (a vice principal), Pamir Konuklu (teacher), Fahri Arkar, Doruk Akın, Alp Akın, Özgür  İçme, Lavin Kalaycı, Elvin Çavdır, Kağan Selim İş (students), Duygu Balsoy  Kalaycı (parent).” 

A group of 39 people – including from the boys and girls teams were in the  building when it came down, and search and rescue efforts are continuing to  find them. 

As part of the recovery effort the TRNC has sent a search and rescue team,  consisting of 17 riot police and 10 firefighters, to Türkiye to participate in the  work in the regions affected by the earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş. In  addition, 200 rescue workers from the TRNC, 30 members of their Civil  Defence Organisation and 8 search and rescue vehicles will go to Türkiye.