A fight for survival is going on for the people in the earthquake areas. In Turkey there is already no drinking water in some places because of the destruction, as the head of the Medical Association (TTB) in Adana in southern Turkey, Selahattin Mentes, told the German Press Agency. The district of Nurdag in Gaziantep is affected.
Elsewhere, the tap water could possibly be contaminated by mixing with the sewage system. "We urgently need access to clean drinking water in the region and we have to establish hygiene. In addition, the garbage has to be disposed of." Otherwise there is a risk of infectious diseases such as cholera.
Chlorine tablets and toilets are missing
According to the TTB, there is a lack of chlorine tablets, mobile toilets, cleaning products and vaccinations against tetanus and diphtheria in the region. The need for food, however, is currently covered.
Eleven days after the quake, there are still sensational reports from Turkey about rescues. The state-affiliated broadcaster CNN Türk reported that helpers in the Turkish city of Antakya had rescued two people who had been buried from the rubble after 261 hours. The information could not be independently verified.
According to the Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, one of the two young men insisted on calling a relative immediately after his release. A video showed how the person called burst into tears on the phone when he heard about the rescued.
The people in the areas devastated by the earthquake must also expect strong vibrations in the coming days. Aftershocks with a magnitude of more than five are expected, Orhan Tatar, director of risk reduction at Turkey's Afad civil protection agency, told the state news agency Anadolu on Friday. There is an aftershock in the region about every four minutes.
Meanwhile, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad announced in a cynical television speech that the consequences of the war in the country had prepared the population for the earthquake. "The war, which drained resources and weakened capabilities, gave Syrian society the experience to deal with the earthquake." Syria's rulers are brutally taking action against their own people in the conflict. He is accused of crimes against humanity, including the use of chemical weapons. The war broke out in 2011. More than 350,000 people have died so far.
In order to provide more support for the earthquake victims, the United Nations is asking the member states for the equivalent of 940 million euros. According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the money will "help 5.2 million people".
There is also continued support for Turkey from Germany. Despite a Verdi warning strike, a Lufthansa plane took off on Friday morning with relief supplies from Frankfurt towards Antalya. Another machine should follow around noon, said the initiative "We help together". With special agreements, Verdi has made it possible for the relief flights to take off despite the strike. Further aid flights by the German-Turkish airline SunExpress are to follow next week.
Meanwhile, people in Germany who want to support the airlift can drop off aid packages free of charge in the shops of the parcel service provider DPD. They may weigh up to 20 kilograms and may contain unused winter clothing, sleeping bags, blankets, diapers or dry food. The action is coordinated with the Turkish civil protection Afad.
Further great sympathy in Germany
The sympathy for the catastrophe in this country is still great. According to a survey, a majority of Germans are in favor of temporary admission of those affected. Almost seven out of ten respondents (69 percent) spoke in the current Germany trend for the ARD "Morgenmagazin" in favor of easier visa allocation. 23 percent are against the fact that the victims from Turkey can temporarily stay with relatives in Germany.
International earthquake aid can sometimes also fulfill another positive purpose, as the example of Greece shows: Thanks to his country's support for the Turkish earthquake region, the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hopes that the tension between the two neighboring countries will ease. Athens and Ankara are at odds over sovereign rights and natural gas deposits in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean. In recent months, Turkey has repeatedly threatened to invade Greek islands.
More than a week ago, a 7.7-magnitude tremor shook southeastern Turkey, followed hours later by a second severe 7.6-magnitude tremor. The number of confirmed deaths in Turkey and Syria is still rising. On Friday it was almost 44,000. Tens of thousands were also injured, and thousands are still missing.
Trapped cow freed
For eleven days, a farmer fed her trapped cow named Birican in a village in south-eastern Turkey. Now helpers have freed the animal, as reported by the broadcaster CNN Türk on Friday. "Today I am very happy, thank God," said the farmer in a video. "I love my animals like my children." The sale of her milk will ensure the survival of the family, the woman told the state news agency Anadolu. Videos showed the woman climbing into the rubble with hay to get to the cow over the past few days.