Constructor loses family members in İzmir building he named after grandson he lost in 1992 earthquake
Emre Eser - İZMİR
A man lost his two grandsons and a daughter-in-law in the earthquake that rattled the Aegean province of İzmir on Oct. 30 in an apartment he constructed and named after a grandson, Emrah, he lost in a quake in 1992.
“It is a tragic coincidence,” their neighbors said.
Hayati Uzun, a constructor, was living in the eastern province of Erzincan with his family until an earthquake in 1992 that killed one of his grandsons, Emrah. The family later fled and moved to the Bayraklı neighborhood of İzmir.
“In 1993, Hayati built an apartment building with 28 flats in it and named it after his deceased grandson, Emrah,” said his friends.
In Turkey, while registering a newly built apartment in the municipality system, constructors can also give names, apart from numbers, to the apartments.
“Hayati lived in this apartment for many years. Then he moved to Didim [an Aegean resort town].”
But his son, Bora Uzun, his son’s wife, Rabia Uzun, and his grandsons continued to live in the Emrah Apartment until the earthquake on Oct. 30.
Emrah Apartment collapsed, killing the two grandsons and the daughter-in-law. His son, Bora Uzun, was pulled out alive from under the rubble by rescue teams.
One of the deceased grandsons was called Hayati, 17, named after his constructor grandfather.
“Hayati was a lovely boy. Ten years ago, an earthquake shook İzmir, and back then, the elevator of the building went out of order. Hayati had said, ‘This apartment will collapse one day,’” one friend said.
The neighbors said the building had been reinforced and had undergone structural strengthening after the earthquake a decade ago.
“Apparently it wasn’t strengthened strong enough,” one friend said in tears.