When hope dies

by Ruth Bücker/SHU, 2011/10/25

Hope is great among all those present, but sorrow and disappointment are even much stronger. After the earthquake of last Sunday, friends and relatives assembled around the pile of rubble that must once have been an impressive building. Four floors, a café on the ground floor where many young people met and had tea together.

On October 23, one of the café's guests was Sat Toplak. He had arranged to meet there with his friends in order to enjoy their free time together. With the same friends who are now standing in front of the pile of stones stunned and sad, mourning his death.

A young man is sitting a little apart from the group of compassionate people, struggling with life and the sorrow. His name is Özcar and he has just been told the sad truth that deprives him of any hope: his brother was buried under the collapsed building and died there.

The humedica team had been called when in the morning rescue dogs had detected a person buried under the ruins. If he could have been rescued alive, the humedica doctors would have implemented first medical aid and accompanied him to hospital on the ambulance. But unfortunately, coulds and woulds are of no importance in this place of deep sorrow.

After the rescue team, the members of which had travelled here from all over Turkey after the earthquake, had removed the rubble and steel constructs using suitable tools, they could only recover Sat's lifeless body.

Sat is one of the so far 459 persons who got killed during the devastating earthquake. His wife has found shelter at one of the tent cities that have been set up together with their four children, the siblings of her deceased husband and her parents in law.

Locals tell us that 80 percent of the houses have become uninhabitable due to the earthquake. 55 houses in Ercis have collapsed completely.

We cannot relieve Sat's family of their sorrow. Nor can we give them back their son. But we can light a beacon of hope and continue to treat those who are in need of our help. And in this case there definitely are no coulds or woulds.

Özcan has only just received the sad news that his brother, who was buried under the rubble, is dead. Photo: bild.de/Hannes Ravic

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