Notes of a doctor from the earthquake area – Saygı Öztürk

Notes of a doctor from the earthquake area – Saygı Öztürk

Respect Ozturk

Sinan Köksal is 66 years old, a doctor for 42 years. He is still working as a chief physician and general surgeon in a private hospital. Erzincan earthquake in 1992 and Gölcük earthquake in 1999 saw the disaster areas. He was caught in an earthquake while examining a patient in Bayraklı, İzmir. He calls the Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquake “Little apocalypse”.

He wanted to go to the earthquake zone on his first day. However, he was able to go in his third week. He worked in a field hospital in Iskenderun for 4 days. There were very devoted physicians and health personnel. South Korean, German and Russian physicians were also there. Everyone gave up on themselves and worked for earthquake victims. They still continue.


Dr. Sinan Köksal traveled around the earthquake areas whenever he had the chance. He sent me his notes. I quote a part of them:

“I was in Antakya today. Along with its other districts, Hatay has become a ghost town. When Turkish citizens migrated to their relatives and neighboring provinces, Syrians remained in the majority. Excavation trucks carrying the license plates of almost every province are blocking the traffic. I frequently saw the employees and vehicles of Istanbul and Izmir Metropolitan Municipalities. There is almost every organization of the state in Antakya. Tent cities were established, but when they went to the villages, people took shelter in makeshift tents.

They do not allow to enter the side streets and neighborhoods in Antakya by car. Houses, apartments, workplaces, workshops, factories, schools, hospitals have been destroyed in Antakya. Not only their homes but also their futures are destroyed. Amik plain between Iskenderun and Antakya. The most fertile soils in the world. If you sew a man, madame, if you sew, madam, it’s over. Have you asked God for trouble yet? He gave it too!


What did our people do? They built a city in the middle of the plain, and they called it Ovakent! The houses were destroyed, the inhabitants of Ovakent went to tents. In the tent city, children are playing games, playing ball. An old man is drinking a cup of tea in front of the tent. It’s like he’s drinking his future, not tea. ‘Hi,’ I said, ‘will you drink too, sir?’ said. I didn’t drink. Two girls were playing house in front of the tent. Life goes on in the tent city.

I am descending from Belen to the plain. Almonds are in bloom. An old woman by the roadside holding an olive tree. I cannot explain how hopeful I was. Life goes on. This is Iskenderun. ‘Does anyone hear my voice?’ said, no sound was heard. It has never been touched! Are there souls? Are there people? Nobody knows. If there is anyone, anyone has given up hope. It’s a cemetery for the orphans. They await the iron claws of the machines.


I was on watch last night. I started my birthday by examining an earthquake survivor with scabies. I spent the morning reading a patient’s own book as a gift. Scabies, lice, fleas a lot. Diarrhea cases are increasing day by day. I started the new day by emptying the patient’s abscess at eight in the morning. I’m like a dermatologist and a pediatrician at the same time. Today is my last day here. I will return to my home and work, leaving a piece of my heart here. I haven’t washed or shaved for three days. I was sleeping in the car I rented. I thought of the woman walking past the rubble, holding an olive tree in one hand. Despite all the pain, life goes on…”

“There is no legal obstacle in the Vice Presidential Office”

Ankara The statement regarding the appointment of Metropolitan Mayor Mansur Yavaş and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu to the Vice President of the Republic, in addition to their duties, created great satisfaction. Whether this will be legal is also debatable.

TOBB University Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Murat Sezginer said, “According to Article 106 of our Constitution, the criterion determined for the Vice President is to have the qualification to be elected as a deputy. In addition, the duty that is incompatible with the Vice President is only a deputy.

According to Article 106, “Vice Presidents and ministers are appointed and dismissed by the President from among those eligible to be elected as members of parliament. Vice Presidents and ministers take an oath before the Turkish Grand National Assembly. If members of the TGNA are appointed as vice-presidents or ministers, their memberships expire.”

Likewise, there is no restriction on Vice Presidents in the Presidential Decree No. 1. Therefore, there is no restriction on the appointment of Metropolitan Mayors to the Vice President. prof. Dr. Sezgin says:

“It is possible to make an arrangement with the Presidential decree in terms of carrying out their duties together. This arrangement will not be a regulation for local administrations, but an arrangement for the vice presidency. A regulation regarding the local administrative bodies and their powers should undoubtedly be by law.


It is regulated in Article 17 of the Law on the Election of Local Administrations, Neighborhood Headmen and Boards of Elders. It cannot be said that any other public duty other than those listed here is incompatible with the duty of mayor. The legislation is as follows:

Deputies, mayors, members of provincial and municipal councils, and mukhtars do not have to resign from their positions in order to be nominated or nominated in local administration elections. Membership in the parliament, mayor, provincial council and municipal council and the headmanship cannot be combined under the responsibility of one person. Those who are elected to another of these duties, use their right of preference within 15 days from the date of notification of the election results to them. Those who do not use their right of preference within this period shall be deemed to have rejected the new duty they have been elected.”

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