Turkey earthquake: Tragic end for young Turkish couple's wedding plans

26 Feb 2023 10:35am
Sobah Tayyar (left) tearfully tells the story of her eldest daughter, Muna Tayyar, 17, who was  killed in the earthquake that hit Turkiye on February 6 - SINAR
Sobah Tayyar (left) tearfully tells the story of her eldest daughter, Muna Tayyar, 17, who was killed in the earthquake that hit Turkiye on February 6 - SINAR

REYHANLI, TURKEY - February 11 was supposed to be magical day for young lovebirds Muna Tayyar, 17, and her partner, Ali Darwish, 25, as they were supposed to tie the knot in a wedding ceremony at their home in Antakya in Hatay province, south of the country.

All the preparations had been arranged by the couple including the food that was to be served and invitations were already sent to close family members and friends.

But all their dreams of happiness crumbled after Muna was killed in an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale that shook Turkey on February 6.

The earthquake centered in Kahramanmaras affected 10 regions namely Hatay, Gaziantep, Adıyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa and Elazig.

"It was not meant to be, Muna died in the ruins of home," her mother, Sobah Tayyar, 45, related to Sinar Harian when found at their relative's house in the city.

Even though it has been 19 days since the tragic event happened, Sobah still clearly remembers the moment when her eldest daughter breathed her last.

Sobah said she was preparing bread dough for breakfast in their house which was built on the roof of a three-story building, when there was a strong tremor that caused her to fall down the stairs.

In the chaotic atmosphere, her husband Fevas Tayyar 45, and children, Muhammad, 15, and Omar, 10, rushed to help her and then they tried to save themselves.

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However, Sobah said while they were going down the stairs, they fell as the floor of the building had collapsed.

"Muna, who was still in the house at the time, did not have time to do anything and was trapped in the rubble for four hours.

"When rescued, Muna was still alive but when in my arms, she vomited blood and continued to breathe her last.

"At first I couldn't believe she was gone and tried my best to call her name hoping for her to wake up," she said with tears in her eyes.

The death toll from the earthquake that struck southern Turkey has now risen to 43,556. T The earthquake zone is estimated to have a population of 13.5 million people and many of them have been displaced.

The quake caused 26,000 homes to collapse in the first hour and the disaster covered an area of ​​110,000 square kilometers (42,471 sqmi).

Turkey is also home to nearly 3.5 million Syrian refugees, about half of whom have taken refuge in disaster-stricken areas.

Sobah added that the incident also caused her husband's right leg to crack and her youngest son to suffer severe injuries to his left leg.

"My son was injured when he was rescued. People had to pull his leg that was stuck, causing the flesh on his thigh to tear," he said.

Sinar Harian together with Syria Care and Task Emergency Medical Service (TEMS) are currently in Turkey on a mission to distribute aid to earthquake victims including in Syria.

The public can contribute to this mission by donating to the #BantuanBencana Sinar Karangkraf x Syria Care Fund. Those who wish to contribute, can channel the donation to the account of Maybank Sinar Karangkraf Sdn Bhd, 564276-529068.

Donations to the #BantuanBecana Sinar Karangkraf x Syria Care Fund can also be made via this link: https://info.sinarharian.com.my/tabung-bantuanbencana-sinar-karangkraf-x-syria-care/