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Turkey observes 15th anniversary of devastating quake

On Aug. 17, 1999, a magnitude-7.4 tremor hit northwestern Turkey, leaving 18,000 people dead. The epicenter was about 7 miles (11 kilometers) south of the city of Izmit, and 7 1/2 miles (12 kilometers) east of the town of Golcuk. Less than 60 miles (100 kilometers) away, Turkey’s biggest city, Istanbul, was also badly affected by the quake. People gathered Sunday at the earthquake monument Yalova, which was built over the wreckage of the buildings demolished by the quake. After leaving flowers at the monument, which bears the names of the victims, people visited the photo exhibit inside the monument. Local authorities and members of the Turkish Parliament participated in the memorial ceremony. The victims of Marmara Earthquake were also commemorated in Golcuk, Kocaeli province at 03:02 a.m. local time (0002GMT), the time the earthquake struck 15 years ago. Golcuk sub-governor Adem Yazici told people at the ceremony that, despite the passing of 15 years, the pain was still fresh. The Turkish Navy Command also commemorated its 420 members who died in the quake.

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