We Can Feel Your Pain – Türkiye’s Devastating Сalamity Claims Lives of Kazakhstan’s Best and Brightest

The world was shocked by the catastrophic earthquake in southern Türkiye and Syria. The earthquake, with a magnitude surpassing 7.5 points, claimed the lives of more than 20,000 people. According to the latest United Nation estimates, the depth of the tragedy is still unclear. The rescue operation continues, but there is less and less hope of finding survivors under the rubble. Thousands of buildings lie in ruins, and tens of thousands of families have been left homeless.

Photo credit: NewYorker magazine.

Hope fades as the search becomes more difficult due to the level of the devastation caused by the earthquake. Obviously, repairing the infrastructure and buildings will require enormous effort, time, and resources, but it is doable. However, bringing back a person to life is impossible. Thousands of Turks are losing not just their homes and normal livelihoods but also their most cherished friends and family whose lives ended so abruptly. 

For some Kazakh citizens, this disaster will become not only a shared sorrow with fraternal people for whom they feel compassion and wish to alleviate their suffering but also their own personal tragedy, leaving an indelible scar on their hearts.

Sadly, the tragic earthquake claimed the lives of two Kazakh nationals, including a well-known IT professional Mirbolat (Mirus) Kurmashev, and Adil Kadyrbekov, a friend of Kurmashev. 

Mirus Kurmashev. Photo credit: WeProject.media.

Kurmashev was Astana Hub technopark’s international agent. He and his colleagues were filming content at the time of the earthquake, according to his brother Almat Kurmashev. Kurmashev was dubbed the “Kazakh Elon Musk” by many. He was the ideological driving force behind many anti-corruption IT startups. Kurmashev also enjoyed music as well as cutting-edge IT technologies. He was an outstanding DJ.

Aida Haidar.

I once had the privilege of working with Kurmashev. It was my first time working as a producer on live TV. The nervousness quickly faded as I understood what kind of guest had come on the program and that there was nothing to worry about. In the end, we had a fantastic interview because Kurmashev was a man who was genuinely enthusiastic about what he did. He energized everyone who met him.

Kazakh Minister of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry Bagdad Mussin extended his condolences to the Kurmashev family on Facebook. He wrote that Kurmashev was always creative and aspired to make something great. He was a people magnet who knew how to bring talented people together. 

He made a significant contribution to the development of Kazakhstan’s IT industry. Kurmashev was described by the minister as someone who could create common ground for bringing IT specialists from Kazakhstan and Türkiye. Mussin noted Kurmashev’s special role in last year’s trip by Kazakh IT professionals to the country ahead of President Tokayev’s visit to Ankara. 

“We scheduled a tour to numerous innovative companies in Istanbul with IT specialists from Kazakhstan during that trip. Mirus was a key initiator and implementer of this idea. We asked him to be a representative of Astana Hub because it was important for us to have a person who would find common ground and bring hubs, IT specialists from our countries together,” Mussin wrote.

Unfortunately, “catastrophes of the century” caused by nature rather than by man serve as a painful reminder of the ephemeral nature of existence. And a human being’s place on the planet. 

The author is the Astana Times news editor.

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