We commemorate those lost in the earthquake with sadness. We wish the injured a quick recovery. We demand the rescue of those who were under the rubble and resources for all those who’ve been left homeless.
A 7.4 magnitude earthquake occurred in the southern district of Pazarcık district at 4.28 am on Monday, according to international earthquake measurement centres. The impact of the severe earthquake was felt in a large area stretching from Israel to Trabzon on the north eastern coast of Turkey.
The news from the region shows that we are facing a very bad picture. Houses, public buildings and main roads were destroyed and many people were killed, injured and left under rubble.
The harsh winter conditions aggravate the destruction caused by the earthquake. The possibility of hypothermia indicates that search and rescue efforts should be carried out very quickly and systematically.
We hope that aid will be delivered to people under the rubble as soon as possible. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the destruction in Kahramanmaras and other provinces. Like many trade unions and workers’ organizations, we also say, “Earthquake kills, make solidarity live!”
We will show all our solidarity, but we are obliged to emphasise two points. Many earthquake experts have been saying for a long time that it is necessary to be prepared for a very big earthquake in this region. Professor Dr Naci Gorur previously said in a television program, “You have to look carefully at the Kahramanmaras region, you have to be careful. Harm-reducing measures must be taken now.”
As in the Golcuk earthquake and the Elazig earthquake three years ago, it is not the quake that’s responsible for the scale of death. It is the politicians who have done nothing to reduce the impact of the earthquake. They could have used resources for the benefit of the people and to protect life. But the prioritisation of profit leaves ordinary people exposed in the face of such disasters.
Now, all resources must be mobilised—first and foremost, for the rescue of the earthquake victims and for the rapid removal of the devastation. Everyone who is instrumental in the construction of houses that do not comply with building regulations should be held accountable. All administrators, who postpone the fight against earthquakes, must be held accountable. An investigation should be opened for every public institution that was destroyed.
Meanwhile, information from the region says that the effects of the earthquake in Syria are great. It is said that there was no great destruction in the refugee tent camps. But people were left waiting helplessly due to the destruction of too many houses in Atme, Sermede, Darkus and Harim regions and the lack of search and rescue teams.
We must take our solidarity with the refugees one step further in the fight against this disaster. We have to show that they can survive the destruction of the earthquake and that they are not helpless in the harsh winter conditions.
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