The Ground Is Shaking, but You Can Make a Difference

A man stands by the collapsed building so his children and grandchildren are rescued from the rubble

In the morning of 6 th of February, city of Gaziantep, and the people around it was shaken by an earthquake of 7.8 magnitude unexpectedly. After 9 hours, the nearby city of Kahramanmaras was shaken by 7.6. Experts stated that there were the biggest earthquakes seen in the last century. Earthquakes that affected ten cities in the southeast of Türkiye and the northern part of Syria destroyed almost all the settlements in the region. While the search and rescue teams were working for a long time, the international support was very strong from the beginning of the earthquake

A Country On Its Knees

There have been eight deadly earthquakes in Turkiye in the last twenty years. Major cities in the country are built on a dangerous fault line. Despite this, Türkiye’s earthquake measures are not sufficient at all. Experts state that the future Istanbul Earthquake will be over 7 and cause hundreds of thousands of deaths. Also, the mistakes made by the administrators systematically have a great impact on the public.

Recent Data According to Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD)’s report dated February 16, 37 thousand dead people were found in the 10 days after the earthquake and 110 thousand people were injured. Estimated figures are 80,000 deaths and five million homeless and many displaced. In the country, 7 days of mourning declared after the earthquake. More than $10 billion in donations were collected at home and abroad.

Speaking of the Political Impact As soon as the earthquake happened, NGOs and AFAD rushed to help the region. However, the turmoil caused by the lack of coordination in the region affected the earthquake victims negatively. While many people lost their lives in the first days of the earthquake because they could not be dealt with immediately, looters and malicious people attempted to steal by entering the destroyed and damaged buildings. On Twitter, people tried to spread the missing announcements through their own efforts. Many Turkish social media influencers and well known people tried to coordinate with each other and provide help. The unqualified appointments made by the Erdogan government to AFAD and their unprepared arrests were frequently reflected on the public agenda. Most of the aid campaigns created pointed to the non governmental organization called AHBAP instead of the state. Established in 2016 by an artist named Haluk Levent, the AHBAP association aiming at social assistance is still one of the most trusted institutions of many people in the country. It took a long time to bring the aid to the region under control and to deliver it to those in need. In particular, the government party executives who visited the region received many reactions from the earthquake victims and the public.

City of Kahramanmaras by drone

From the second day of the earthquake, the Turkish Armed Forces soldiers, who were at the forefront of the institutions most trusted by the public, started to provide security and stability in the region. The issue of delaying the presidential elections in Türkiye (before the earthquake) was discussed in the parliament and the date of 14 May was decided. But nothing was certain as the official decision had not yet been made. After the earthquake, a state of emergency was declared in the country and people worked on earthquake relief instead of elections. Therefore, some political experts estimate that the elections will be held on the normal date of June 24. The government decided to use the dormitories of state universities to accommodate earthquake victims and switched all universities to online education. Schools on holiday in semester will continue online at the beginning of March with this decision. This decision received a reaction from all circles and the public is putting pressure on the government to take a step back. In addition, the works and support of opposition municipalities in the earthquake area were appreciated by the majority of the people. In general, the Erdogan government failed to manage this moment of crisis well in the first time and failed the earthquake class. The backlash against the government intensified after this event. In the elections to be held in the summer, the public will voice this reaction.

The financial toll of the earthquake is very heavy. After the earthquake, hundreds of thousands of houses, public institutions, ports, and airports were damaged. The Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation estimated that the economy would suffer financial damage exceeding $84 billion. In the report they published, 1 million buildings are damaged, while it states that the total cost of temporary container houses and new buildings to be built for earthquake victims is the main expenditure category. Bloomberg estimates that public spending on earthquakes could be equivalent to 5.5% of GDP.

Everyone is helping

A street in city of Hatay

From the first hours of the earthquake, Türkiye declared the 4th degree disaster situation and called for international relief. Azerbaijan, Israel, European Union countries, Turkish Union countries, USA, Russia, South Korea, Pakistan, Armenia, England, India, Switzerland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Arab League countries and China provided various assistance. Some countries have sent search and rescue teams, while others have provided financial assistance. In addition, the border gates with Armenia, where Türkiye was opposite because of the illegal occupation of Armenia in Karabagh, were opened for aid trucks after 30 years. Azerbaijan is one of the most helpful countries. Türkiye Azerbaijan relations, which are in the form of one nation and two states, have shown their effect and from the first day, the Azerbaijani state and people have stood by Türkiye with all their support. In addition, Israel, whose relations with Türkiye have started to soften in recent years, has stood by Türkiye since the first day with 450 search and rescue officers and one field hospital.

Syria Finds No Rest

A father does not leave the hand of his daughter who died in the earthquake for 20 hours

About 4 million people live in opposition-controlled areas of the country. Most of these people, many of whom have migrated from other parts of the country due to the war, live in buildings that were largely destroyed by the bombardments. Aid agencies say some healthcare facilities and hospitals have been evacuated to treat the injured. In the capital Damascus, it is reported that people spent the night on the street in the earthquake that lasted for 40 seconds. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent called for urgent assistance to the international community. Rahaf Aboud, the organization’s communication spokesperson, told CNN Television, “We ask the European Union, the United Nations and the international community to support us in this devastating earthquake, to send tents, food and medical supplies.”

They Need Your Help

Help with us! All around the world Turkish embassies has created collection points for the people who would like to help and donate necessary materials.

Updated list of necessary products and collection center in Rome are:

Via Palestro 28, 00185, Roma(Embassy of Türkiye in Roma)

List Of Necessary Products: Tent, Blanket, Generator, Heater, Sleeping Bag, Camping Mat, Hygiene Material, Canned Food

Meanwhile, LUISS University has decided to start a crowdfunding campaign in direct support of the Italian Red Cross with the goal of 20,000 euros: we invite the entire Luiss community to give their support, as every contribution can make a difference. Even the students associations are doing their part to contribute: LED, The Journal ASP, Iurisprudentes and Globe Trotter are collaborating to help make donations. Do your part!

You can reach the crowdfunding by the following link:https://www.gofundme.com/f/universita-luiss-per-la-turchia-e-la siria?qid=8ea4f75906760db0f63291a0ab792b00

or:https://ahbap.org/disasters-turkey

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