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.  They have been living there for over two months.  Photos

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

Ali Dogru, 46, has been working at the Çankaya cemetery in Iskenderun for the past six years. Before the earthquake, he buried five people a day. On the first night after the earthquake, he had to bury 12 people. And in the next 10 days, he organized the burial of 1210 dead.

Ali used to be a butcher. When he saw how the dead during the earthquake were brought in his arms, he remembered the lambs given for sacrifice on the Eid al-Adha holiday. “As a butcher, I often saw people carrying lambs in their arms to be sacrificed. 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 grave-digging equipment and invite dozens of imams from all over Turkey to conduct funeral rites. “I wanted only one thing: to work day and night to (quickly) finish. I didn’t want people to come and say that the bodies (of their loved ones) were not buried,” Ali said.

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

Several times Ali buried children and parents who died hugging each other together. “I said, ‘Death could not separate this child from its mother or 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 loved ones were located.

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

Ali worries about the psychological state of his sons: they, according to him, saw many dead after the earthquake, including children. He plans to arrange 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 did they have beds again.

Ali, Hatice and their children moved into the house where they lived before the earthquake less than a year ago. The building has received 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 back to my house,” she says.

Ali is more cautious. “We are trying to overcome our fears,” he says shortly.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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