We are on the fourth day of the earthquake.
The affected region still lacks effective intervention by the central authority.
President Erdogan of AKP, his ministers, and advisors are visiting the affected regions in the presence of a media army they have brought along. The government is trying to present itself as being in control of the situation, and it is possible to see AFAD’s tent cities, construction equipment, and experts in the broadcasts from government-affiliated media outlets. Many days after the earthquake, however, and too little too late.
Furthermore, we are receiving heaps of information disproving this representation, from our volunteers, our teams in the field, and citizens contacting us regularly, day by day, hour by hour.
On the other hand, we know from what we have seen and heard in some of the villages of Kahramanmaraş, Antakya, Adıyaman, and Malatya where TKP teams have reached, that there are many villages with which no contact has been made until now.
We saw once again that telecommunication companies lack the infrastructure needed under disaster conditions. On top of the lack of equipment and electricity in the field, we know that these companies cannot set up coordination among themselves. It is not possible, however, for the central authority to remedy this need. Because such an authority does not exist.
The reason for all this is that market rules apply to telecommunications, logistics, energy, and construction. Under such circumstances, where said resources are not under the ownership and central control of the government, even if government institutions work effectively, it is impossible to achieve the desired results.
In fact, we are receiving information that some GSM operators refuse to share their functioning base stations with other operators, even under dire conditions where thousands of people are trying to reach out to their loved ones, and functioning communication networks are required for relief efforts. Even such a great calamity cannot overcome the immorality of the private sector.
As a result of the mindless and unplanned dispatch of the resources, which were mobilized with great delay, available human resources continue to be dragged aimlessly from one point to another. Health personnel from Izmir are reporting. It is not known where the personnel issued from the hospital with great show, supposedly to be sent to Antakya, are to be dispatched in the region. Workers who have arrived in the region try to establish a roadmap themselves by designating the ones in charge.
Wreck removal activities are taking over the search and rescue efforts as days pass by. The possibility of the live rescue of people from under the wreckage has decreased considerably as of the end of the fourth day. And the survivors have started to leave the region in order to stay alive. Vehicle traffic at the exit of Hatay and Maras provinces is increasing rapidly.
Solidarity efforts undertaken by TKP in the region continue to strengthen with the help of increasing human resources and logistical support. Through our stationary and mobile teams comprising hundreds of people, we continue to work at our emergency desk located in Antakya Armutlu, Toros District House in the vicinity of Adana Turkan Saylan Park, Akkapı District House in the vicinity of Adana Akkapi Playground, Iskenderun Gürsel District House, Şehit Polis Mehmet Demir Park opposite Gaziantep Şahinbey Güneykent Frida Cafe, Diyarbakir Huzurevleri District House, and solidarity centers in Kahramanmaraş Pazarcık, Kahramanmaraş Nurhak, and Osmaniye.
TKP’s emergency desk in Antakya Armutlu has received basic provisions such as food, winter clothes, blankets, and hygiene supplies, again today from various places in the country. Along with the aid supplies collected through the solidarity of the people in TKP offices and neighborhood organizations, many institutions and organizations have also delivered the supplies they have themselves collected to TKP, for healthy and trustworthy distribution.
While a part of the goods that have reached the crisis desk were transported to nearby villages under the coordination of the TKP crisis desk, another part has been transported with trucks to Harbiye, Çekmece, and Dursunlu neighborhoods of Defne, as well as Samandağ district center.
Alongside earthquake survivors, search and rescue teams working in the region, soldiers, and health workers from the Mustafa Kemal University Education and Research Hospital have also benefited from the food services provided by the emergency desk.
We know that the migration of earthquake survivors towards other cities will increase gradually over time. These will be imperative journeys taken by our exhausted citizens in pain, without knowing the end, carrying the memories of their loved ones, homes, and country left behind. Our people who have been volunteering for the collection, preparation and delivery of goods in support of the relief efforts for days, will very soon need to strengthen solidarity with earthquake survivors in their own cities. TKP crisis management continues to strengthen its presence in terms of human and logistics resources in the earthquake region, in accordance with needs, while at the same time following the developments closely so that future needs can be anticipated and intervention scenarios can be constructed.
We derive strength from our people who are tenaciously struggling to stay and to keep alive, and with this strength, endeavor to increase the ability of the people for organized mobility, which will be our sole savior. We are ready to transform the enormous solidarity demonstrated by our people into long lasting organizations, everywhere we exist.