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Volume 6, Number 8
15 November 1999

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We are Shaken Again...
Bilkent Crews Rush to Quake Region for Rescue

Bilkent rescue crews hit the road immediately on Friday night to save lives as soon as they heard the earthquake was destructive in Düzce and Bolu.

It hit again! Hundreds of people were killed and over a thousand more were injured in a strong earthquake that shook northwestern Turkey Friday night. The new quake was strongly felt in Ankara as well as in other towns in Central Anatolia.

Bilkent University was among the first to mobilize relief efforts to the region. The first rescue crew that left Ankara at 9 p.m. Friday night included two ambulances, four doctors, and two nurses from the university Health Center. Tepe Group was in the crew taking an Hungarian Rescue Team along with them.

With the help of two rescue dogs, the Bilkent crew set out to work immediately to save lives from under the rubble. Relief efforts were said to be difficult because the local fire station had collapsed trapping a number of firefighters, and Kaynaşlı-Düzce was in flames as a result of toppled down coal or wood stoves at homes.

According to the reports we received, one of the Bilkent ambulances that arrived at the site Friday night carried injured people to the hospitals in İstanbul.

Right after Turkey was shaken with the destructive quake, the university Health Center was flooded with supplies that were gathered by the students and brought in to the center with the help of dormitory administrators. The Health Center coordinated these efforts till morning by sorting out the supplies and prepared them for speedy delivery. The students who enthusiastically contributed to the efforts of the health center staff were Munise Pekgüzel, Şafak Güneş, Nihan Kesimgil, Ayla Akyıldız, Yeliz Olataş, Cansel Poyraz, and Helin Alkan.

In addition to the Bilkent rescue crews, Bilintur joined relief efforts by sending a team to the region to set up a soup kitchen and start a bread production plant on Saturday November 13. Also, a truck full of food and supplies, and two vans full of clothing and medical items headed for Kaynaşlı.

A group of volunteers also left for the region on Saturday under the leadership of our Rector Ali Doğramacı and Vice-Rector Ümit Berkman.

Student Union President Evren İnanç informed Bilkent News that two car loads of winter clothing and blankets were immediately collected and sent to the region Friday night.

Bilkent University will continue to maintain its presence in the quake region to help both the survivors and other rescue teams by offering food, hot drinks, and other services as the need arises.

Bilkent News extends its condolences to all those who lost their beloved ones in the quake hit towns.

Please join Bilkent community's aid campaign in any way you can!

Students voluntarily gathered at the health center and helped the staff in sorting out clothing Friday night. The boxes were ready to be dispatched to the quake survivors Saturday morning. Students Betül Oğuz, Oğuzhan Sertsan, Özlem Çaykent were among the volunteers.

Energizing and high-calorie food items such as tahini and jams, non-perishable and canned food, macaroni and other nutritious food items, and drinking water were among the supplies sent to the region by Bilintur.

Gökhan Gençer and Kadir Sertan Okutan seniors from School of Tourism and Hotel Management, joined the team efforts as interns of Bilintur.

The rescue team takes care of last minute details prior to the departure for the earthquake site; Rector Ali Doğramacı and Vice-Rector Ümit Berkman are ready to join the painstaking but exhilirating journey to Düzce along with others who are ready to offer all the help they can.

The response to the call for help by Bilkent community was admirable. DOST Emergency Rescue Group along with Bilkent graduates Tunç Fındık (AKUT member) And Cihan Yapa immediately went to the region and joined the rescue efforts. Efecan Aytemiz, Burak Galip Akkurt, Kerim Savran, Sinan Haliç and Kaan are among the DOST members who were in the first group who left on Friday night.

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