Precious hours after the disaster were unfortunately wasted, due to the locked transportation facilities – not only related to the weather conditions but due to many reasons. The viaducts and highways in the provinces under the responsibility of the Regional Directorate of Highways had collapsed, all vehicles were diverted to other state roads and traffic was completely blocked, resulting in the aid efforts to be blocked.
Volunteer miners and evacuation teams of the Turkish Hard Coal Corporation (TTK) could also not reach the region because their help efforts were not approved by the official Disaster Management Directorate (AFAD) of the Ministry of Interior Affairs. The government is trying to capitalize on the rescue efforts, but could not provide the necessary support at all, inhibiting the efforts of experienced teams .
Almost no building was left in Hatay, all were demolished, including hospitals. Health staff of the government only reached the regions and started working more than 18 hours after the earthquake, again losing a very precious time.
Management problems continued during the day. Schoolteachers were first called to volunteer and then were told to stay, as it was decided that only those with search and rescue experience were to be directed to the region.
Television channels that tried to broadcast from the region were exposed to negative reactions from the people. People expressed their anger at the face of the ministers, MPs and governors who visited the site.
Gas and fuel shortages resulted in a major challenge in the region, fuel had to be carried in plastic bottles. Lack of fuel, medicine, health personnel, military personnel, all point to the same general problem: the lack of a disaster logistics plan.
The resources of the armed forces were inadequate and ineffectively used, lacking a plan.
And finally, Adıyaman, in which a major religious sect that has close ties with the government is centered, was deprived of any sort of help, within 36 hours from the earthquake.
On the second day of the earthquake, Communist Party of Turkey strengthened its emergency desk and upgraded the capacity and scope of its operation in the region.
As of Monday evening, solidarity spots were launched, in order to support search and rescue activities, to identify the needs of our citizens affected by the earthquake accurately, and to ensure that aid materials from all over the country are safely delivered to the region.
A food truck with 6 cooks and a capacity to serve for 3000 people per day, which was provided by Sarıgazi District House in Istanbul, set off for Antakya.
Our comrades at the region worked at the emergency desk set up in Hatay Antakya Armutlu and solidarity spots in Türkan Saylan Park and Akkapı Children’s Park in Adana, Güneykent Frida Café in Gaziantep Şahinbey district and Koşuyolu Park in Diyarbakır. As of Tuesday evening, another solidarity spot formed by our comrades became active in Pazarcık, Kahramanmaraş, one of the most severely destroyed regions.
Our teams in the region include health workers and specialists equipped with search and rescue and first aid skills.
Our rescue teams have so far rescued 16 people from the rubble, while our medical teams have helped more than 200 injured.
Currently, over 300 TKP members are working in the region affected by the earthquake, including Central Committee members.
In line with the needs identified by our teams working in the region, solidarity activities and collection of aid materials at District Houses will be coordinated. There is a profound need for blankets, fleece, tents, sleeping bags, flashlights and hygienic materials, and the first part of these aid materials collected with an immense effort at the District Houses were sent to the region. One truckload of supplies from Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir is about to reach the region. As of Tuesday night 3 trucks and 1 bus of aid materials are on their way to Antakya and a truck is on its way from Erzurum Karaçoban to Malatya.
Communist Party of Turkey (TKP)