The political ruins still stand!

07 Şubat 2024 Çarşamba

According to official data, 53,537 people lost their lives and 107,213 were injured in the February 6 earthquake. Two weeks later, Devlet Bahçeli visited the region for the first time and scolded the people saying, "You have no right to sabotage the visit of the President. Silence will prevail. Disperse, take those down!"

A year later, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while campaigning in Hatay, said, "Nothing comes to a city unless the central government and local administrations join hands and collaborate. Has it come to Hatay?"

Kerem Kınık, the former president of the Turkish Red Crescent, who sold tents worth 46 million TL to AHBAP on the third day of the earthquake.

These are the first three names that are etched in my mind regarding the February 6 earthquake. But when I think back on the entire nightmare, what pains and injustices were not endured...

We have not forgotten any of them, and we will not let them be forgotten!

The failure to deliver the necessary emergency aid to the region during the most critical three days following the earthquake.

AFAD's request for assistance from the Turkish Armed Forces 36 hours after the earthquake and not utilizing the military actively and effectively in disaster response.

The restriction of access to social media sites, the most crucial tool for communicating with and reaching those trapped under the rubble, and only ending the bandwidth throttling practice 9.5 hours later amid backlash.

Rescue teams shouted in unison, "Can anyone hear me?" to communicate with those trapped under the rubble and the profound silence in response.

Millions of people were forced to spend the winter in tents, living in a waterless and hygiene-deprived environment, despite promises made.

Instead of opening hotels, palaces, and vacant homes to earthquake victims, students residing in dormitories of the Credit and Dormitories Institution were asked to vacate their rooms.

The announcement by the then Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Prof. Dr. Vahit Kirişçi, that "injured 'large' animals from the earthquake would be purchased and slaughtered by the Meat and Milk Board."

More than half of the 115 billion lira raised for earthquake victims in the 11 affected provinces through the "Turkey United as One" campaign came from public institutions.

People continue to live in damaged buildings out of desperation not to freeze to death in the cold.

The slow poisoning and killing of the earthquake-affected population by dumping debris containing toxic material into rivers, streams, and plains.

Reports of unaccompanied children being abducted by sects.

We have not forgotten any of these, and we will not let them be forgotten!


An earthquake is a natural disaster, but it's the government that turns it into a massacre. A year later, while a few people receive the keys to new homes, many continue to struggle for life in tents and containers.

Respected actor and writer Orhan Aydın, who made a superhuman effort for days to rescue his daughter Eylem Şafak Aydın trapped under the rubble but received news of her death on the sixth morning, pointed out the culprits in his harrowing article titled "We Died..." published in Birgün on the first anniversary of the massacre.

"Those who issued amnesty under the name of 'zoning peace,' those who allowed the plundering of living spaces and the erection of concrete coffins rising to the sky under the name of urban transformation, those who permitted construction on riverbanks and stream beds, and those who failed to inspect those constructions are all guilty."

Thirteen days after the earthquake, as someone who witnessed the destruction among the smells of corpses mixed with rubble dust, I ask:

If those who died in such a massacre, with the culprits clearly in sight, remain just dead; if we do not rise in indignation against injustice, if we do not resist injustice with the anger and searing pain we feel, if we remain silent as the responsible parties engage in more religious exploitation instead of being held accountable, what is the meaning of living?

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