Antakya: Vow to rebuild Turkish city of miracles - but how do you recreate its spirit?

ITV News Correspondent Emma Murphy revisits one of the worst hit cities in Turkey, two months after a powerful earthquake hit the region, she finds devastation and despair.

It is two months since the 75 seconds of hell which changed so much in Turkey.

Two months since two earthquakes tore into cities, destroyed homes, lives and futures.

Around 50,000 people died in Turkey alone, more than 7,000 over the border in Syria. Those figures are still approximations.

Some of the dead remain unidentified, some remain lost beneath the buildings which became tombs.

More than 121,000 were injured.

The Rahimi family lost two of their four children in the earthquake. Credit: ITV News

Of the dead, half were in Hatay province, most in Antakya - the beautiful ancient city which has thrived since Roman times.

When we visited in the days after the attack the place was filled with debris and desperation.

With families waiting outside buildings, sure their relatives were inside, unsure if they were dead or alive but determined that either way they would be there to receive them when finally they were recovered.

Now the place is empty. All that’s left is debris. No one can or does live here anymore. A city of 400,000 people now deserted. There is the rumble of diggers, the air is heavy with dust but apart from that little else.

Thousands of families' homes were destroyed by the tremors. Credit: ITV News

Everywhere there are the reminders of the lives that were lived here, the lives that were lost. The photographs, the washing still hanging two months on, the television which has somehow stayed fixed on the wall when all around the building has fallen.

They vow to rebuild Antakya, but how do you recreate the spirit of a city? How do you tempt those who have fled to return when many find there is more peace in a tent than in a building which could trap them again?

In local legend Antakya is a place of miracles - it doesn’t feel like that now.

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