Istanbul Earthquake

January 23, 2008
It was a warm and clean evening in August. The moon was glistening and the air was very sweet. It smelled fresh everywhere. No one knew that an un-expected eartquake was coming. My grandmother and I were staying in our summerhouse in Yalova at that night. My prents and my aunt were stying in Istanbul because they were working. My grandmother and I slept early as usual that night.

Everything was going well until 3:02 A.M. Then the earth began to shake abruptly. It was shaking strongly. I wake up. "What was going on?" My grandmather saw my white face and she looked at my shivering legs. "Don't panic my dear!" she whispered. "We will go out when it ends,"she added softly."Is this true?" I asked to myself. the shake continiued for a minute. Then a big panic fallowed the short silence. Later on, my grandmother held my hand and we rushed through the narrow coridor of our huge summerhouse. When we went outside, saw some lights that were coming from different places. Then I saw Ms Akar who was our neighbour and her nephew who was my best friend coming towards us.

"It is a tragedy," she shouted, "What are you going to do?" she added.

My grandmother replied softly, "We have to wait the morning."

"Okey we will wait with you," she whispered. We began to walk together. After our short walk, we found a safe place in front of the enterece gate. We sat there and began to wait for the morning to come. However the time was flowing slowly. "What are these?" I questioned to myself. I heard voices of screams, cries and I heard the silence of the death later on. I saw the white faces; the people who lost their minds with each life long hour passing. I heard and saw all these again and again until the morning came. My parents and my aunt came bringing their white faces with them. They got precious and important belongings together with some clothes. Then we began to drive to Istanbul. However, all the roads were closed because of the ruined buildings. It was almost impossible to drive.”How can we go Istanbul?” I don’t remember what happened afterwards and how we arrived at Istanbul because I took a long sleep in my mother’s warm arms.

“How can I forget this?” It is impossible for me to forget about 17th of August in 1999. We could escape from this hell, however many people died in this earthquake. This is a bloody memory for me because I could never leave the screams, the cries and silence of death behind.

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