ASTANA – A special rescue jet brought 16 Kazakhstan’s citizens from the earthquake hotspot in Türkiye to Astana on Feb. 7, said Kazakh Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Aibek Smadiyarov during a press briefing, reported the ministry’s press service.
“Türkiye accommodates approximately 75,000 Kazakh people, 968 of them are registered in Turkish consular offices, while 8,219 students chose the country for education,” Smadiyarov said.
The Kazakh diplomats in Türkiye are working to establish contact with Kazakh citizens. Honorary Consul in Mersin city Ahmet Budan provided hotel accommodation for 25 Kazakhs, including 19 students.
Honorary Consul in Konya city Mustafa Kabakci helped to evacuate 12 more Kazakh students from the city of Adana to Istanbul.
The Kazakh citizens who had been evacuated thanked the government for their assistance.
Kazakh businessman Assadula Abdualayev was on a business trip in Gaziantep at that time. Returning home, he thanked President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Türkiye Yerkebulan Sapiyev for help.
“After one call, the employees of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Türkiye contacted us and organized the evacuation, guiding us throughout the process,” said Abdulayev, as quoted by Kazinform.
Raihan Nabiyeva came to visit relatives in Gaziantep.
“I was at my relatives’ house when the earthquake struck. We hurried out into the streets when we heard a loud noise. Later, we spent the entire day sitting on the roofs of some cars. We stayed there until the next morning,” Nabiyeva added, as quoted by Kazinform.
The Kazakh Foreign Ministry also reported one Kazakh citizen is missing, and the search for him is ongoing. At the moment of the earthquake, Astana Hub international agent and businessman Mirus Kurmashev was in the Turkish city of Hatay.
“After the earthquake, the communication with Mirus was lost,” wrote CEO Astana Hub Magzhan Madiyev on Facebook.
Friends and volunteers flew in to search for Kurmashev on Feb. 7. So far, his family and friends have not been able to contact him.
The Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also established a hotline at +7 (7172) 72-05-00, where Kazakh сitizens and their relatives can call to request assistance or share information about missing relatives.