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ONLY ON 3: Wilmington man in Turkey during quake

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The damage in Turkey from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake is hard to stomach for those who have family and friends there. A former Wilmington restaurant owner is in Turkey right now.

Huseyin Osogul is in Turkey for his aunt’s funeral. He had no clue his trip home would include watching his homeland try to emerge from a natural disaster.

As the death toll in Turkey mounts, few can do anything but watch as the search for survivors continues.

Ozogul lives in Wilmington, but he’s visiting family in Istanbul. He learned about the quake the same way many people around the world did.

“As soon as they had an earthquake I just heard right away, because we were watching TV,” he said by phone Monday.

Istanbul is about 600 miles from where the quake struck, so Ozogul didn’t feel anything, but he feels for the survivors and the injured.

“They don’t have a house, and they don’t have a place to stay, and also it’s getting ready to snow there,” Ozogul said. “I was looking at the forecast, and it shows snow start tomorrow or something, and it’s going the whole week, and a lot of people are going to be out of a house.”

Ozogul says the quake is a big topic of conversation over there, as he’s learning the effects are far reaching.

“A taxi driver I spoke with from the Istanbul area, he says he’s trying to reach his family can’t get to them, and he got relatives there, last night I was talking to the guy and he can’t contact with anybody so far,” Ozogul said.

Ozogul is thankful his family is safe, because he knows there are so many whose loved ones are still missing and perhaps dead.

“We just feel bad, ’cause a lot of people I’ve seen are crying about it, because it’s terribly ghastly right now,” he said.

Ozogul plans to return to Wilmington at the end of the month.

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