Turkey commemorates victims of 1999 Marmara earthquake

KOCAELI (CIHAN)- Sunday is the15th anniversary of Turkey’s worst national catastrophe of the past century, the Aug. 17, 1999 Marmara earthquake, which killed 17,000 and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

Ceremonies to commemorate the victims were held on Sunday, and panel discussions and conferences on earthquakes and earthquake protection were held across the country in a bid to raise public awareness on the issue. The victims of the earthquake were commemorated at 3.02 am Sunday morning, the exact time when the 48-second quake, which registered 7.9 on the Richter scale raged in the northwest of the country eight years ago.

In Kocaeli, several ceremonies were held at Glcuk’s KavaklI Beach, the epicenter of the devastating earthquake. Hundreds of people participated in the commemoration ceremony in front of the monument built for earthquake victims on the beach. Speaking during the commemoration, Glcuk Mayor Mehmet EllibeI said they will be on the beach every year in memory of the victims not to make the tragedy forget.

In another city Sakarya, a commemoration ceremony was held at Kent Square with participation of thousands of people. Quran recitation and prayers dedicated to the victims during the program.