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Thursday, September 16, 1999 Published at 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK


World: Europe

Return to Turkey's shattered city

Children are missing the community support of school

Chris Morris returns to earthquake-hit Adapazari

Millions of children in Turkey have gone back to school this week-but not in the region which was devastated by last month's earthquake.

Turkey Earthquake
In the shattered city of Adaparazi, people salvage what they can, while they can. They're surviving day to day.

No-one's thinking too much about their long-term future, because very little escaped unscathed here. School buildings lie broken and empty. The structural damage is severe. Rebuilding the system will take a long time.


[ image: The people of Adapazari are salvaging what they can]
The people of Adapazari are salvaging what they can
Cihan Ulusoy, a civil engineer says: "Much of the population has been relocated to vast canvas cities. It's far from ideal - some of the tents are more than twenty years old, and they're not properly water-proofed".

More permanent solutions are being lined up. But in the meantime the children who now live here in extraordinary circumstances need distractions - games and other activities, anything to try to keep them busy.


Chris Morris finds the city barely surviving from day to day
Psychological programmes are already well under way. There are many cases of trauma and depression. It's not hard to guess what is on most childrens' minds.

One boy says he wants to back to school - he likes the lessons, there's good food and it's always warm, even in the winter.


[ image: The community is striving to create a brighter future for their young]
The community is striving to create a brighter future for their young
Alternative education is being provided - but on a haphazard basis. Many teachers were killed or wounded in the earthquake, and hundreds have left the region.

Those that are still working have been joined by volunteers from across the country - all of them are being trained in trauma counselling. "We're thinking of their future," says Gun Irk, a volunteer who specialises in art education. "If we relate to them in the right way, if we can help them get over their pain", she says, "the earthquake children can still flourish".

Until the school year does begin, no-one really knows how many people - children or teachers - may still be missing, or may have left. And because of the risk of further aftershocks many parents still want their children close by.

Tent camps will have to provide education as well as shelter as the winter sets in.



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