After the Quake: One Turkish Family’s Struggle

Finally, 106 days after the ambulances rushed their battered bodies to the hospital, the couple were cleared to leave.

Ibrahim Karapirli hobbled back from physical therapy on crutches to protect his aching leg. His wife, Pinar, wrangled their twin toddlers, unsure how she would care for them with her one remaining arm.

The couple were still mourning their two sons who were killed when a powerful earthquake pancaked their six-story apartment building in southern Turkey before dawn last February.

Ibrahim and Pinar piled about a dozen plastic bags holding their possessions atop a wheelchair, bade the nurses goodbye and went to their car.

“God, please don’t let us end up here again,” Pinar said.

Ibrahim drove, despite a hulking plastic brace on his right leg. He was anxious to return to work and find a safe new home for his family, if it were possible for them to feel safe anywhere. As he pulled into traffic, a Turkish pop song mourning a lost love came on the stereo.

“Day after day, I have to forget about you,” the singer crooned. “Did you think our tears were over?”

We are having trouble retrieving the article content.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.


Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.


Thank you for your patience while we verify access.

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Want all of The Times? Subscribe.