Educators mark bittersweet Teachers’ Day in quake town
VAN - Anatolia News Agency
The ceremony began with a moment of silence observed in honor of the 75 fallen teachers, who lost their lives during the 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Oct. 23 . AA Photo
A local teachers’ association in Van marked Teachers’ Day yesterday by commemorating the 75 teachers who lost their lives during the 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Oct. 23 that killed over 600 and left thousands homeless.
“Of course, we feel deeply vexed when we see people departing from here. It is difficult for a person to part with the place where they were born and grew up in. If our departed colleagues’ needs are met, particularly their shelter needs, they will certainly return,” said Adnan Şen, the head of the Van Teachers’ Association (VÖDER).
The program was arranged both to honor the memories of the 75 teachers who lost their lives in the devastating temblor and to motivate and boost the morale of their colleagues who remain in Van, Şen said, adding that this was the first occasion in which they had commemorated Teachers’ Day without any students.
Moment of silence for victims
The ceremony began with a moment of silence observed in honor of the 75 fallen teachers, followed by a recitation of the national anthem. Held in a restaurant in Van, the program was attended by large numbers of teachers registered with VÖDER, according to reports.
A slideshow was put on display for the 75 teachers who died in the quake, as well as for Cem Emir and Sebahattin Yılmaz, two reporters from Doğan news agency who were crushed to death underneath the rubble of the hotel where they had been staying during the quake.
The program ended with prayers and recitals from the Quran for the fallen teachers.
Turkey has been celebrating Teachers’ Day since the country’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, declared Nov. 24 the day to honor teachers and their profession.
Meanwhile, Teacher’s Day was celebrated in Ankara on Nov. 24, with various celebrations throughout the city.
The most important celebrations, however, were in the classrooms, where students greeted their teachers with smiles and flowers.
The official celebrations kicked off when Deputy Prime MinisterBeşir Atalay met teachers visiting Ankara from all of Turkey’s 81 provinces.