The Hungarian President and the Ambassador of Turkey thanked the rescuers who returned home

Author: Kim Bora Date: 2023. február 15., szerda 10:57


On the afternoon of February 14, the President of Hungary, Katalin Novák  greeted the Hungarian rescuers who helped Turkey, including members of Hungarian Baptist Aid’s HUBA Rescue24 team, in ’Sándor Palota’ (Sándor Palace).  

At the beginning of the event, the members of the Hungarian search and rescue teams participating in the help following the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria and all those present remembered the victims with a one-minute silence, and then President Katalin Novák thanked the rescuers on behalf of all Hungarians.

²You are our heroes. You, the women and men, who were there and helped after the tragedy, who saved lives day and night, without rest.² said Katalin Novák, and then emphasized how proud she was that the Hungarians fought shoulder to shoulder from the first moments. ²I say my thanks not only as a President, but also as a mother, since my husband and I are raising three children, and I thought, what would happen if we were in a similar situation? Many mothers, grandparents and relatives are worried now, but many are grateful to the Hungarian rescuers for getting their relatives back or for receiving testimony about what happened to them. Most of you also live in families, who supported you to be there with those affected by the tragedy, even risking your lives. It's good to experience those moments when all Hungarian hearts beat together. It's good to see that division is not the focus at this time, rather we all prayed together and cheered for the Hungarian rescuers to return home safely.²

Gülsen Karanis Eksioglu, the Ambassador of Turkey in Budapest, thanked the members of the rescue teams on behalf of her country. She stated that February 6, the day of the earthquake, will also be a very important day in the history of the Turkish-Hungarian brotherhood. According to her, Hungary has once again shown that it can be counted on in difficult times.

²There is nothing greater than when someone saves another person's life.² with these words, Béla Szilágyi, President of Hungarian Baptist Aid, summed up what happened in Turkey to a reporter (feol.hu). He accepted the ’Certificate of Thanks’ from the President on behalf of the team. ²We searched the area that was assigned to us, and we brought whoever we could out alive from under the ruins. At the same time, we can never be completely satisfied, we always have a painful feeling. After all, how good it would have been if we didn’t have to look into the relatives’ eyes when they asked again and again to check their houses because their child, wife, and father were under the ruins. And we had to answer that we had already searched everything with our dogs and cameras, but unfortunately we couldn't find anyone alive. The entire city was destroyed in Antakya, where houses either collapsed or became completely uninhabitable. Of course, there was no electricity, water, or heating anywhere, people lived under the sky, others in their cars, trying to warm themselves by open fires. The first stones were removed by the survivors from those who were trapped under the upper part of the ruins, the rescuers had to lift out those who were deeper. If we received information about a possible survivor, the first, the second, and then the third dog set off to search, and if all three indicated a living person, the work began.”

The rescuers of Rescue24 and the eight dogs found eleven survivors, seven of whom they managed to rescue alive, the rest were lifted from the ruins by the Turkish professional firefighters and the local helpers who joined them. On the first day after arriving there, a young woman and a man of her age were rescued, and on the third day, an entire family, five out of six people, was rescued; unfortunately the sixth member, the grandfather died. The activity is carried out according to strict rules, because sometimes you have to leave someone whose rescue would take longer, and you should not spend time removing the dead either.

²We were not primarily physically tired, but it was more about the fact that it is a serious mental burden for a father to hear voices of children from under the ruins.² László Pavelcze Commander of the rescue team recalled what happened on the third day. ²We heard two siblings talking to each other, maybe only three meters away from us. And they spoke to their father, who was about three meters away from them. Then we were instructed to withdraw from the incident, because the rescue would be time-consuming. I thought that I wouldn't leave my own children there either, no matter what happens, I would dig them out with my bloody hands if necessary. We refused to leave the scene. I ordered a five-hour break, even my colleagues thought we were going to leave, but that's not what happened: we have added to our equipment to give us more chances. While we were working on this, the Turkish helpers arranged the site so that we only had to break, cut, and carve the concrete. After we returned, the two little ones were out within two hours. Then I cried.²



The rescue team of Hungarian Baptist Aid has returned home from Turkey

The HUBA Rescue24 rescue team of Hungarian Baptist Aid has completed its mission in Antakya, Turkey. The team arrived at Liszt Ferenc Airport on Sunday morning, where they were greeted with flowers and applause by the representatives of the Turkish Embassy, along with family members, colleagues and workers of the press.

Earthquake in Turkey: the special rescue team has found ten survivors in Antakya

On Tuesday, at 7pm Hungarian time, a man was lifted from the ruins by the HUBA Rescue24 International Fire and Rescue Team of Hungarian Baptist Aid in Turkey.

Earthquake in Turkey: the special rescue team has arrived in Adana

The HUBA Rescue24 International Fire Brigade, Search and Rescue Team and an emergency medical team with 19 specialists and 7 rescue dogs, arrived in Adana on Tuesday morning, under the direction of commander László Pavelcze, HBAid’s Emergency Management Director, after the Turkish authorities requested international help.

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