Local sport clubs fall victim to Kahramanmaraş earthquake.

An apocalyptic dagger of despair plunged deep into the hearts of Türkiye on Monday, when the country awoke to a harrowing sight – the Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquakes that resulted in more than 8,500 fatal casualties, more than 49,000 people sustaining injuries, and almost 15,000 buildings reportedly reduced to dust and debris.

As anticipated although not easy to accept, the inevitable devastation of the earthquake did not spare local sports clubs, leaving several individuals and teams adversely affected.

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Hatayspor, Gaziantep FC and Yeni Malatyaspor have all been particularly hard-hit by the calamity.

On Monday, reports emerged that Hatayspor forward Christian Atsu and their sporting director Taner Savut had been buried under debris, with the former later being rescued alive, but unfortunately the latter’s fate is still shrouded in mystery.

Not knowing whether it was a stroke of luck or simply destiny, Gaziantep FK’s team was granted a fortuitous leave, sending most of their football players out of the city.

For Yeni Malatyaspor, it was not the kind of news that anyone would want to receive.

While many of their players were not in the city due to the permission given after the Çaykur Rizespor match, their goal minder Ahmet Eyüp Türkaslan stayed behind.

When tragedy struck, he was left entombed beneath the debris with everyone clinging to the hope that he would be rescued unscathed; yet, heartbreakingly, his lifeless body was recovered on Tuesday.

The teams of the Turkish Football Federation’s 2nd League located in the earthquake zone, such as Adıyaman Football Club, Şanlıurfaspor, Amed Sportive Activities, Diyarbekirspor, Iskenderunspor, as well as those of the 3rd League, including Karaköprü Belediyespor, Integrated Solar Elazığspor, 23 Elazığ Football Club, Yarımoğlu Sigorta Kahramanmaraşspor, Osmaniyespor FK and Malatya Arguvanspor, have all been severely affected by the disaster.

Sadness befell many teams in the Regional Amateur League, especially those in the 1st, 2nd and 7th Groups when the disastrous event occurred.

Kahramanmaraş Istiklalspor, the Group 2 leaders, were struck by tragedy when one of their player, Taner Kahriman, was tragically killed after being trapped under rubble.

In a heartbreaking announcement on his social media account, Iskenderunspor President Hakan Bolat declared that goalkeeper trainer Uğur Kurt and U19 player Burak Duraltı were still trapped in the wreckage.

He also revealed that Halil Ibrahim Ölmez who is part of the technical team, was rescued from the debris but currently remains in intensive care.

The remaining athletes and their families had been safely evacuated from Iskenderun.

Gaziantep’s ALG Spor and Onvo Hatayspor in Turkcell Women’s Football Super League Group A, Amed Sports Club and Bitexen Adana İdmanyurduspor in Group B, Doğuş Gold Gaziantep Asya Spor and Birfen College Hatay Defne Spor in the 1st League were all shaken by the devastating earthquake.

Volleyball couple killed
Betül Çoban Çakır, the spiker of Merinos Volleyball of Gaziantep, competing in the TVF Women’s 1st League Group B, and her volleyball player husband Bedrettin Çakır tragically could not be saved.

Tragically, Mehmet Can Ağırbaş, one of the athletes who had been pushing for the playoffs in Malatya Metropolitan Belediyespor Team’s TVF Men’s Volleyball 2nd League, 6th Group, was buried beneath the rubble, losing his life.

Turkish Men’s Handball Süper Lig leaders Vefakent Hatay Metropolitan Belediyespor’s Cemal Kütahya and his family, were said to be under the rubble in Hatay.

There are many teams in the volleyball leagues in the region hit by the earthquake.

Manas Energy Hatay Metropolitan Municipality, which competes in the Efeler League, Çukurova Municipality Adana Demirspor of the Sultans League, Hatay Erzin Yeşilkent in the Men’s 1st League, Gaziantep Genclikspor of the 15th Group in the Women’s 2nd League, and Imamoğlu Municipality from the 13th Group were all affected by the earthquake.

Not to mention, Adana Metropolitan Municipality and Seyhan Municipality, all the teams in the Men’s 2nd League 5th Group, and the GAP Youth and Elazig Aksaray Youth clubs from the 6th Group were also affected by the devastating earthquake.

Among the wrestlers who participated in the Feb. 12 Tournament held in Kahramanmaraş, some of the names from the Turkish wrestlers who were among the detritus were salvaged.

It was reported that wrestlers from France, Kosovo and Uzbekistan were evacuated.

Basketballer Aydoğan under rubble
It is reported that as of Wednesday Nilay Aydoğan, the national basketball player of Çankaya University, who plays in the ING Türkiye Women’s Basketball Süper Lig, was still trapped under the rubble in Malatya.

The Gaziantep Basketball team, one of the regional teams in the Turkish Basketball Süper Lig, could not return to Gaziantep thanks to their weekend match against Büyükçekmece.

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Fortunately for them, the team also traveled to Germany for the FIBA ​​European Cup challenge.

Women’s Basketball Süper Lig team Tufan Metalurji Hatay Metropolitan Belediyespor, Women’s Basketball League teams Elaziğ Special Provincial Administration, Tarsus Municipality and Elaziğ Basketball were the teams affected in the region.

On the other hand, Bitçi Women’s Turkish Cup Final Four will be played in Hatay, hit by the earthquake, between March 9-11.


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