Family pleads for more help in locating Melbourne man as quake search enters fifth day

The daughter of a Melbourne man who is missing in Turkey following the region’s devastating earthquakes has pleaded for more help to find her father as the search enters its fifth day.

Coburg woman Imren Bayram is still desperate to find her missing father Suat, who was in Kirikhan in the Turkish region of Hatay when the disaster occurred.

Suat Bayram (right) with nephew Ulas Hussam and wife Bahar, who are all missing in Kirikhan, Hatay, after the earthquake.

The 69-year-old man from Greenvale was visiting family in Cyprus for five weeks and was in Turkey with his nephew and wife, Ulas and Bahar Hussam.

Four Australians, including Suat Bayram, had been reported missing. The body of Sydney man Can Pahali was found in Turkey on Thursday, the first confirmed Australian death of the tragedy.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Friday confirmed another Australian reported missing had been located. The identity of the person is not yet known.

Five days after the deadly earthquakes which left more than 20,000 dead, the Bayram family wants the Australian government to do more to find their beloved father and grandfather.

“My heart goes out to everybody who has been affected by this earthquake and anyone who has family there, it’s been a nightmare,” Imren Bayram said on Friday.

She said she wanted to see Australian troops or emergency staff sent to the address where her father was staying.

Bayram said she had spoken to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which passed on her request. She was also told the government was in contact with the embassy in Ankara.

“We’ve also contacted them and they’re checking hospital records to see if my father has been in hospital. They’re doing that,” she said.

Bayram has reached out to politicians in a bid to get more assistance, but said DFAT told her it was the Turkish government that decided where aid and assistance would be allocated.

“I’m getting closed doors everywhere I go,” she said.

Bayram had also been in touch with humanitarian organisations in a bid to find more information about what was happening on the ground.

“I’m constantly on the phone, constantly trying to do what we can to have action taken. My brother-in-law is there. He left Australia a couple of days ago, so he should be getting there soon, we’re doing everything we possibly can [to find him].”

People pray for those affected by the earthquakes at the Melbourne Grand Mosque in Tarneit on Friday.Credit:Chris Hopkins

More than 20,000 people have been confirmed dead after this week’s earthquakes in southern Turkey and northern Syria, which were recorded as being of magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.5.

Hundreds of people gathered at Melbourne Grand Mosque in Tarneit, in Melbourne’s west, on Friday afternoon to pray for those affected by the earthquakes.

DFAT was contacted for comment on missing Australians.

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