Man who survived quakes wrongly declared ‘dead’

Man who survived quakes wrongly declared ‘dead’

Mesut Hasan Benli - HATAY
Man who survived quakes wrongly declared ‘dead’

An anesthetic technician living in the southern quake-hit province of Hatay faces trouble after he was wrongly registered “dead” in the government records on the day of the deadly earthquakes that hit last month.

Living in the Samandağ district of Hatay, Yusuf Ökten and his family survived the devastating Feb. 6 earthquakes with their house intact.

In fact, no one with the surname Ökten in Samandağ died in the earthquakes.

About a month after the earthquakes, Ökten went to see his fiancée in the western province of Muğla’s Ortaca district.

When his ID number was entered into the system to buy medicine from a pharmacy in Ortaca, he was told that the records on the system showed him “dead.”

The system showed Ökten’s date of death as Feb. 6, the day earthquakes hit.

After leaving the pharmacy, Ökten applied to the civil registration office and was informed that “he was listed as dead in the records.”

Upon this incident, he went to the Ortaca Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and made a statement that he is alive. The prosecutor’s office contacted the Hatay office and asked for the error to be corrected.

Ökten claimed that he suffered great trouble due to the fact that he was declared dead in official records, as his insurance was canceled and he was unable to access the Turkish e-government website, e-Devlet.

“It even says that they buried me. Turns out that I’ve been dead for a month. My e-government account is closed, and my bank accounts are closed. I am now collecting evidence to prove that I am alive. I am engaged to be married soon, but if this error is not corrected, I will not be able to get married,” he said.