World Bulletin / News Desk
Memorial services took place around the country on Friday to commemorate victims of the 1999 Marmara earthquake and mark the 13th anniversary of the tremor.
Residents in the northwestern province of Kocaeli attended a memorial service held in front of the Kavalı Quake Monument in Kocaeli's Gölcük district to remember those who had lost their lives in the quake. Gölcük Mayor Mehmet Ellibeş also attended the ceremony and said, “So as not to experience the same tragedy again, we are consciously taking [preventative] steps.”
The dead were also remembered at a ceremony held in the western province of Yalova. Many of those attending were unable to hold back tears. Republican People's Party (CHP) parliamentary group Deputy Chairman Muharrem İnce, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Temel Çoşun and Yalova Mayor Yakup Koçal were among those who attended the memorial service.
Another service took place in the northwestern province of Sakarya with the attendance of AK Party Sakarya deputy Ali İhsan Yavuz. A group gathered around a monument erected in Adapazarı in memory of the victims and prayed for those who had died during the devastating earthquake.
The 1999 Marmara earthquake registered a magnitude of 7.6 and affected a number of cities in the Marmara area, especially Kocaeli and Gölcük. The quake caused widespread devastation when it struck at 3:02 a.m. on Aug. 17, 1999 and claimed 17,000 lives, with unofficial sources saying the casualties could number as high as 35,000. Half a million people were rendered homeless.