After the earthquake in Turkey, Ali Dogru buried more than a thousand people. And he was forced to move to the cemetery with his wife and children, who have lived there for more than two months. Pictures

Six-year-old Mehmet Dogru sits in an open coffin at Cankaya Cemetery in Iskenderun.  March 8, 2023

On February 6 in Turkey, near the border with Syria, there was a strong earthquake. According to the latest data, more than 55,000 people have died: approximately 49 thousand in and around Turkey seven thousand in Syria. Tremors occurred near the town of Iskenderun in southern Turkey. In the city’s port (one of the largest in the country) caught fire hundreds of containers, the fire was put out for about two days. In the city turned out to be Nearly 500 buildings were destroyed and around 3,000 people were killed. Now the townspeople who lost their homes are living in tents, hotels, college dorms and even on sea ​​vessels. Gravedigger Ali Dogru, with his wife Hatice and their four sons, moved to a bus after the earthquake, which is at the cemetery where Ali works. Next to the bus, in a tent behind the morgue, live Ali’s brother, Emrulla, his wife Asli and their children. Reuters published history on how the Dogru family now lives day to day. Discover the most impressive of these photos on Meduza.

Ali Dogru, 46, has worked at Çankaya cemetery in Iskenderun for six years. Before the earthquake, he was burying five people a day. The first night after the earthquake, he had to bury 12 people. And in the following 10 days, he organized the burial of 1210 dead.

Ali was a butcher. When he saw how the dead during the earthquake were brought into his arms, he remembered the lambs given as sacrifices on the Eid al-Adha festival. “As a butcher, I often saw people carrying lambs in their arms to sacrifice them. I was amazed when I saw people carrying their children, their wives like that,” he told Reuters.

To bury more than a thousand people, he had to find gravedigger equipment and invite dozens of imams from all over Turkey to perform funeral rites. “I only wanted one thing: to work day and night, so that [быстрее] finish. I didn’t want people to come and say that the bodies [их близких] not buried,” Ali said.

According to him, there were no mass graves in his cemetery after the earthquake.

Many times Ali buried children and relatives who died standing together. “I said, ‘Death cannot separate this child from its mother or its father. Why should we do this? »

Ali also helped photograph unidentified bodies, collect fingerprints, blood and DNA samples. Later, he showed the relatives of the victims, whom he managed to identify, where the graves of their relatives were.

Ali and his brother moved their family members to the cemetery shortly after the earthquake, and they have been living there for more than two months. As the schools are still closed, the children spend most of their time with their mothers and with each other.

Ali is worried about the psychological state of his sons: they have, according to him, seen many deaths after the earthquake, including children. He plans to organize a vacation for the family as soon as things are more or less settled.

For the first few days at the cemetery, Ali and his family slept on blankets and ate almost nothing as the adults were busy burying the dead. Only recently have they found beds.

Ali, Hatice and their children moved into the house where they lived before the earthquake less than a year ago. The building suffered minor damage, so Hatice hopes to return to their apartment soon and has already started cleaning there. “Where else can we go?” I do not want anything. I just want to go home,” she said.

Ali is more cautious. “We try to overcome our fears,” he says briefly.

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