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Seventeen thousand Izmit earthquake victims remembered

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Seventeen thousand Izmit earthquake victims remembered

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A commemoration has been held for the victims of the Izmit earthquake, which struck northwestern Turkey 15 years ago.

The 7.4 magnitude quake killed more than 17,000 people and left half a million homeless.

It struck at 3.00 am local time on August 17, 1999 and lasted around 45 seconds.

Whole districts of several towns were reduced to rubble, requiring a massive search and rescue operation for those trapped, involving experts from a dozen nations.

Early on Sunday morning, prayers were said in the town of Kocaeli, Golcuk and dozens of red flowers were dropped into the sea.