Turkish Cypriots share Türkiye’s sorrow, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Ersin Tatar has said during a visit to earthquake-hit provinces.
“Your pain is our pain,” said Tatar, who was on a visit on Wednesday to Türkiye’s southern Kahramanmaras province, the epicentre of the Feb. 6 earthquakes.
Tatar paid a visit to a tent city that was set up on Sutcu Imam University’s campus.
“Our hope is that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, together with Türkiye, will grow stronger in the Eastern Mediterranean and offer a future and hope to Turkish Cypriots. Therefore, we believe that Türkiye is strong as it has always been and will dress these wounds,” he said.
He wished the quake victims a speedy recovery and distributed bread made by a mobile bakery in the tent city.
Tatar stressed that they have been monitoring developments in Türkiye, saying Turkish Cypriots pray for the country.
Noting that Cyprus island is also a seismic zone, Tatar said that by taking the necessary measures in the buildings to be built in the future, no such devastation would be experienced.
Earlier in Gaziantep province, he said: “We are deeply saddened by the martyrdom of tens of thousands of our people in this disaster.”
Noting that Turkish Cypriots in Türkiye were also victims of the “disaster of the century,” Tatar said, “35 of our children, including 24 of our young volleyball team stars, their teachers, and some families were martyred in the debris of a hotel.”
“Our citizens lost their lives in other regions as well. We have learned that our citizens who settled in Hatay, Kahramanmaras and Osmaniye and many of their relatives passed away.”
More than 45,000 people died in the magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes, which struck 11 provinces – Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa and Elazig.
Some 13.5 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the devastating quakes.