Two Australians confirmed killed in Turkey quake, with grave fears for a missing third casualty

The body of Melbourne man Suat Bayram has been retrieved from the rubble. <i>Photo: AAP</i>

The body of Melbourne man Suat Bayram has been retrieved from the rubble. Photo: AAP

Two Australians have been killed and a third feared dead in the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria as the toll from the disaster continues to rise.

The remains of an Australian man and an Australian woman have been identified by family members in Turkey, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Saturday.

The man has been identified as Melbourne grandfather Suat Bayram, but the name of the woman has not been made public.

“We lost our beloved father and grandfather,” Mr Bayram’s relative, Ebru Hudaverdi, posted to social media. “Our pain is too immense.”

Cabinet minister Chris Bowen extended his condolences, saying the hearts of the government and the Australian public went out to all of those impacted by the earthquake.

“We have made announcements about the level of support we will supply and of course the Prime Minister, the foreign minister (and) the entire government will keep that situation under monitoring to see if there is anything further we should do,” Mr Bowen said.

Earlier in the week, the body of Sydney man Can Pahali was reported to have been found in rubble, but his death is yet to be confirmed by local authorities.

The department is assisting the families of all three people.

About 80 Australians who were in the area impacted by the earthquake are now receiving assistance from Australia in Turkey and Lebanon.

Hunting for Australians

Diplomatic missions in Ankara, Istanbul and Beirut continue to attempt to contact Australians thought to be in the region.

Vigils for earthquake victims will be held in Queensland on Sunday, at 7pm in Maryborough, and 1pm at the Gold Coast’s Home of the Arts.

The candlelight vigil in Maryborough will include the reading of a message from the Turkish consulate, while the Gold Coast vigil will be hosted by the local Turkish Society.

The Sydney-based Lebanese Muslim Association is appealing for donations to support earthquake victims.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on Saturday met with members of the Turkish community at Sydney’s Auburn Gallipoli Mosque.

More than 70 Australian emergency service personnel flew out to the earthquake zone to help with rescue and recovery efforts.

Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt shared a photo to social media of the “heroic” emergency crews headed to Turkey.

“This will be confronting work, but we must do what we can do help our friends in Türkiye,” he wrote.

The death toll has surpassed more than 23,000 and is expected to grow as more bodies are found.

The magnitude-7.8 quake struck the southern Turkish province of Kahramanmaras on Monday and also badly impacted parts of neighbouring Syria.

Rescuers are racing against the clock to find any more survivors, with conditions plummeting as low as -10C.


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