Number of reopened Uzun Çarşı shops increase to 400

Number of reopened Uzun Çarşı shops increase to 400

Number of reopened Uzun Çarşı shops increase to 400

Some 400 shops have started to operate in the historical Uzun Çarşı, one of the symbols of the quake-hit southern province of Hatay, within the scope of efforts to return to normal life.

In the southern province of Hatay’s Antakya district, 600 of the total 2,500 shops in the Uzun Çarşı, which dates back to the 12th century and is one of the busiest places in the region, were completely destroyed in Feb. 6 quakes and almost all shops were damaged.

Following three months passed since the devastating quakes, shopkeepers returning to the city have started to open their shops as the works on water and electricity problems in the bazaar are completed. Currently, 400 shops have reopened in the bazaar.

Fuat Gövce, the neighborhood’s local head, stated that 90 percent of the workplaces were damaged in the quakes, but hopefully, many shop owners are slowly returning.

Mehmet Hançer Gündüz, head of the Uzun Çarşı Solidarity Association, who is also an ice cream maker in the bazaar for 41 years, said that most of the tradesmen left the city reluctantly after the earthquakes.

“God willing, we do our best to bring our bazaar back to life. We thank our governor and mayors. They constantly come and listen to our requests. All debris is removed from in front of the workplaces. Now our bazaar has finally started to turn back to life. Hopefully, we will heal and become even stronger,” Gündüz said.

Emphasizing the importance of Hatay locals to return to their hometown and calling everyone back home, Gündüz added that the city can only get back to its pre-quake state if citizens return.