According to Hatayspor team doctor, Gurbey Kahveci, Ghana international Christian Atsu is yet to be seen following the devasting earthquake in Turkey earlier this week.
The 31-year-old was reported to have been pulled out from wreckage on Tuesday, February 6, after 26 hours, calming fears among Ghanaians. Turkish media reported the player was pulled out alive and had only suffered injuries, adding that he was taken to the hospital.
However, Kahveci, who is the team doctor of the club Atsu plays for, on Wednesday, said both the player and sporting director, Taner Savut are still yet to be found.
“When we heard the news that “he was taken to Dortyol Hospital”, we especially went and looked, but it was not there. At the moment, we accept that [the sporting director] Taner Savut and Christian Atsu were not found, unfortunate,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday morning, Joy Sports spoke to Ghana’s Ambassador to Turkey, Francisca Ashietey-Odunton, who said she and her outfit are unsure about the 31-year-old’s whereabouts though they continue to make attempts.
“Yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here informed me that they wanted to confirm if Christian Atsu had been found and rescued, and sent to a medical centre. However, in all the confusion – which is understandable under the circumstances [as you are rescued you are put in an ambulance and sent to the hospital] – they are not sure yet which particular hospital or health facility he has been sent to,” she said.
“This morning again, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assured me they are working feverishly to find out which facility he was sent to and will get back to me as soon as possible because I have been on them that I need to go and see him.
“I am in Ankara, the capital, which is [in] the middle of Turkey. The disaster occurred in the southernmost [of the country]. All the airports are closed [and] all the roads are closed. Nobody is being allowed except the rescue mission. So, what we can do as a mission, is to fall on the host Ministry, who has an obligation to let us know what happens to our compatriots.
“However, together with members of the Ghanaian community who live here and including some of them who were at the site of the disaster, we have been working hand-in-hand with them to get whatever information we can get not only about Christian Atsu but also about other Ghanaians.
“I am glad and thankful that apart from Christian Atsu, all the Ghanaians are accounted for. We didn’t have many in the area and most of them there were students. In the worse affected areas which are the; Adana, Marash provinces and Gazantiep we had students there. We have been in touch with them through members of the Ghanaian community and today I hope and our intention is to evacuate them to Ankara.”
The situation has left Ghanaians deeply worried as a sense of frustration and fear creeps in about the fate of the 31-year-old.
Meanwhile, fellow Ghana international and close friend of Atsu, Mubarak Wakaso, has also confirmed on Wednesday morning that Atsu is currently unaccounted for.