It has been a tumultuous 24+ hours for Türkiye, as the nation stands perplexed and unknowing of what lies beyond the oblivious wall, after experiencing what could well be the most devastating disaster of the century thus far.
In a heartening display of relief, the Turkish Wrestling Federation reported that eight wrestlers have been rescued from the wreckages in the Kahramanmaraş earthquakes thus far.
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Kahramanmaraş Municipality athletes tragically found themselves beneath the debris of the quake, the seismic force of which was centered in Kahramanmaraş and left its mark throughout many provinces, such as Hatay, Gaziantep, Adana, Osmaniye, Diyarbakır, Malatya and Şanlıurfa.
National wrestler Taha Akgül took to his social media account to report that the building housing dozens of athletes had been demolished, with an estimated 30-40 wrestlers inside.
The Turkish Wrestling Federation has declared that their rescue operations are still in force, with 8 athletes having been miraculously pulled from the wreckage thus far.
The Federation commented on the matter saying, “Rescue efforts continue for our wrestlers, who were among the athletes of Kahramanmaraş Municipality who were under the rubble after the earthquake in Kahramanmaraş. The number of wrestlers rescued so far has reached 8. The search and rescue works continue with the great dedication and faith of our wrestling family.”
Sadly, the future looks grim for a group of athletes from Malatya, with their fates far from certain.
The 11 volleyball players and four amputee footballers from Malatya Metropolitan Belediyespor, who were taking part in the playoff of TVF Men’s Volleyball 2nd League 6th Group, are now faced with an uncertain future, as the Kırçuval Hotel in Battalgazi, where they were staying, was reduced to rubble in the wake of the devastating earthquake.
Nothing definitive has been established, but the search-and-rescue operations remain underway to save those still entombed beneath the wreckage.
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Adding to the heartrending tragedy, Yeni Malatyaspor revealed that their goalkeeper Ahmet Eyüp Türkaslan was still entombed beneath the rubble, and that there had been no communication from him as yet.
Clearly overcome with emotion, his wife, Kübra Türkaslan took to social media with a desperate cry for help, pleading, “Eyüp has been buried under the rubble for 30 hours, someone please come to his aid.”
She exclaimed in despair, “This place is an utter disaster. We must do something to help Eyüp, who has been trapped beneath the rubble for an agonizing 30 hours with no hope of rescue from the debris without a crane or other heavy equipment.”