Quake Kills 5 Members of U.S. Family
Aug. 19, 1999
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) _ Dr. Babur Kilic had planned to join his wife, their five children and his parents this weekend for a vacation in Turkey. Instead, the anesthesiologist was heading for Istanbul to make funeral arrangements.
Four of his children and his father were among the thousands killed Tuesday when an earthquake shook western Turkey.
The State Department said Thursday that five Americans were among the dead and two were among those injured. No names or details were released.
But relatives of Kilic, 39, who is of Turkish descent, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the children, ages 9 months to 5 years, and their grandfather, Nizam, were killed when the five-story building in which they were staying collapsed.
Kilic's 3 1/2-year-old daughter, Natalie, was uninjured and his American-born wife, Jan, was in an Istanbul hospital, according to family members who did not know her condition. Kilic's mother, Turkan, was hospitalized in critical condition.
Kilic, called Bobby by his family, is ``trying to be strong,'' said his sister-in-law, Cigdem Kilic. ``He's very upset, but he's also thankful that his wife is alive and one of his children is alive.''
The Kilic children killed were Jeffrey Michael, 6; Jennifer Kayla, 5; David Tansan, 2; and Katherine ``Katie'' Michelle, 9 months.
Ms. Kilic, 37, who co-owned a Marietta development company, was in Yalova, 90 miles southwest of Istanbul, with her children and in-laws, retired physicians who also lived in Marietta.
``Jan wanted to expose the kids to culture and their heritage,'' said her father, Bill Kemp. ``She's a strong girl. Her faith will see her through this.''
Kilic, who left for Turkey on Wednesday, is a doctor at Wellstar-Kennestone Hospital in Marietta.