Turkish doctor from US cancels flight to volunteer in quake zone

Turkish doctor from US cancels flight to volunteer in quake zone

Turkish doctor from US cancels flight to volunteer in quake zone

A Turkish doctor living in the States who was on vacation in Türkiye during the devastating quakes canceled his return tickets to volunteer at a field hospital in the southern quake-hit province of Hatay’s Iskenderun district.

The southeastern province of Hatay was one of the worst affected cities by the two major earthquakes centered in Kahramanmaraş that shook the country on Feb. 6.

Hundreds of patients are treated daily in the field hospital established in the Iskenderun district and staffed entirely by volunteers.

Doctors from different countries also provide health services in the hospital, and they have been in harness since the first week of the earthquakes.

One of them is Dr. Ali Üçok, who received his medical education in the United States and has been living there for 20 years.

Üçok came to the capital Ankara for a vacation with his wife and children. When they started their preparations for return, he received the news of the earthquakes that ripped through Türkiye’s south.

He canceled his plans to return to the U.S., left his wife and children in Ankara, and came to İskenderun to help the earthquake survivors. He has been volunteering at the field hospital for three weeks and treating patients.

He stated that approximately 400 patients are cared for in a day in the field hospital and said they try to treat all cases that can be treated in an outpatient clinic.

“All the people working here are volunteers. Pharmacists, doctors, specialists from different provinces of Türkiye, our friends, teams from various countries in the world, all working voluntarily,” he said.

Üçok also said that he was very surprised by the extent of the destruction in Hatay’s Antakya district.

“Before I went to America, I had witnessed the earthquake in Bolu. There was a lot of destruction there, but I had never seen anything like this,” he added.