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Turkey after the quake: "Many are asking: where is the government?"


The city of Hatay near the Syrian border lies in ruins after the severe earthquakes. Apparently, help comes too little and too late. SPIEGEL reporter Maximilian Popp is on site – his impressions in the video.

AreaRead the video transcript expand here

A city lies in ruins: Hatay, in southeastern Turkey.

Maximilian Popp, deputy head of foreign department:

»Hatay was hit harder than almost any other city by the earthquake.

We drove through the town this morning and some of the scenes are really apocalyptic.

Hatay looks like a city at war.

Hardly a building is still intact, residential buildings have collapsed, streets are torn up.

Ambulance sirens are blaring everywhere, just like now.”

The province of Hatay, which borders Syria, is the region of Turkey most affected by the devastating tremors, with officially more than 870 fatalities.

More than 1,200 buildings were destroyed by the earthquake.

The Turkish government declared a state of emergency for the province and other affected regions on Tuesday.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish President:

“Based on the powers conferred on us by Article 119 of the Constitution, we have decided to declare a state of emergency.

We will quickly complete the presidential and parliamentary procedures to declare the state of emergency.

It will cover the ten provinces where earthquakes have occurred and will last three months.”

But many people in Hatay complain about insufficient aid and a lack of crisis management.

Maximilian Popp, deputy head of foreign department:

»Many ask themselves: where is the state?

Where is the government anyway?

Apparently it took a long time before help came to Hatay.

On the one hand, this is because the airport was damaged and has been out of service since then.

But that is also because Hatay is governed by the opposition party CHP and the coordination with the central government in Ankara was apparently not optimal.«

Cries for help can still be heard from the rubble of collapsed buildings.

Residents of the city, who managed to escape into the open air, try to warm themselves by campfires in the cold, rainy winter weather.

Maximilian Popp, deputy head of foreign department:

»People here are completely at a loss and desperate.

Nobody knows how things will actually continue.

The damage is so immense that one cannot imagine at the moment how this city can be rebuilt in the near future.«

According to the government, at least 315 aftershocks have been registered since the two severe earthquakes early Monday morning.

Almost 3,500 people were killed in ten provinces of Turkey, and more than 20,000 others were injured.

The numbers are likely to increase.

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2023-02-07

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