Turkey turns to tents and tourist resorts to house quake’s homeless

 Friday, February 10, 2023 


Turkey is grappling with one of the biggest challenges from the earthquake that flattened a swathe of its towns and cities: how to shelter hundreds of thousands of people left homeless in the middle of winter.

Banks of tents are being erected in stadiums and shattered city centres, and Mediterranean and Aegean beach resorts outside the quake zone that use the winter months to prepare for summer tourism are opening up hotel rooms for evacuees.

But with some 6,500 buildings collapsed and countless more buildings damaged, hundreds of thousands of people lack safe housing.

Syrian refugee Bahjat Selo, 62, and his family have camped near their cinderblock and corrugated metal home in Kahramanmaras since the quake caused dangerous cracks in its walls.

The country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority has established meeting points for homeless people wanting to be evacuated from the quake zone.

It calculates that more than 28,000 people have been brought out so far, with nearly 5,000 leaving by road and more than 23,000 by plane.

Hotels welcome survivors

In the Aegean resort area of Marmaris, the owner of the Cettia Beach Hotel has opened up his hotel for earthquake survivors.

Hotels all around Turkey have allocated some 10,000 rooms for survivors, the Turkish Hoteliers Federation told a news media. Most of these rooms are in resorts such as Antalya, Alanya, Marmaris, Fethiye, Bodrum as well as İzmir and Cappadocia.

Hotels in Antalya welcomed their first guests from the disaster zone by Wednesday morning, said Ulkay Atmaca, head of industry body Professional Hotel Managers Association.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that government was doing all it could to provide temporary accommodation to earthquake survivors who wanted to be re-housed.

In all over Turkey, 15,729 people have been accommodated in state guesthouses, student dormitories and hotels, Cavusoglu told a news conference in Ankara. In Antalya alone, 11,165 earthquake survivors are accommodated in hotels.

But with thousands of people still buried under piles of rubble, many survivors appeared unwilling to leave the region despite the freezing weather.

Another problem in the earthquake area is sanitation

In Antakya, in the central district of Hatay, it is almost impossible to reach a public toilet.

In a tent camp near Hatay Stadium outside the city centre and even in a field hospital near partly-damaged Hatay Research Hospital, there were no public or mobile toilets available as of Wednesday night.

When people asked officials about toilets, they replied that the Emergency Coordination Center had been informed and the facilities would arrive “soon.”

« Back to Page

Related Posts


Subscribe to our Newsletter

I want to receive travel news and trade event update from Travel And Tour World. I have read Travel And Tour World's Privacy Notice.