The 1,500-bed capacity ship named Süheyla Sultan docked on the shore of Hatay’s Iskenderun district is ready to host earthquake survivors thanks to the coordination efforts of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.
The ship’s facilities, which reportedly feature classrooms for 250 people, a carpeted football pitch, two playgrounds, a nursery and a kindergarten, were inspected by Minister Energy Fatih Dönmez on Friday.
“The ship was originally designed for another purpose and converted into accommodation. As a result, it has become a floating hotel. We have just visited the cabins for our citizens to stay in. On this ship, we have classrooms in various numbers and capacities, especially for young and school-age children,” Dönmez said, emphasizing the ship is now designed to meet the social needs of its inhabitants.
The ship was brought to the region with a one-year plan, Dönmez stated. The one-year agreement will continue with three-month extensions if needed. According to a Demirören News Agency (DHA), it was set to welcome the first group of earthquake survivors on Sunday.
“Our preparations for establishing temporary shelter in Iskenderun continue rapidly, as you can see on the ground,” the minister noted, adding that, “hopefully, another ship will be set up within a week.”
The minister also noted that two cruise ships had already been brought to the earthquake-stricken area in the first weeks after the Feb. 6 earthquakes in the southeastern region.
Elaborating on the procedures undertaken to create additional temporary shelters in the region, the minister noted that: ”Work continues in establishing container neighborhoods to shelter 6,800 families across 20 locations in Iskenderun. Some of the containers are ready and have been handed to survivors.”