Not the Earthquake That Kills, but Your Damned Order!: Statement of Socialist Laborers Party on an Earthquake
In this country, each generation grows up with a new memory of an earthquake etched to their minds. 1999 Gölcük, 2011 Van, 2020 Elazığ, 2023 Maraş… We choke with pain. But it is not the time to mourn, but to give the necessary help to the people. In this sense, responsibilities fall on the shoulders of everyone capable of help, primarily the youth. Hence, our party’s teams that reached the areas affected work day and night to rescue people from the wreckage alive. We continue to send new teams and help to the region. The losses are, unfortunately, cataclysmic and, most probably, AKP regime will never announce the real number of deaths.
Yes, we choke with pain. But the hearts of the building contractors, who have built these graveyards of buildings for tens of thousands of families, don’t even ache a little. Today, in the vast region affected by the earthquake, the majority of the houses were built after the prior earthquakes. The hearts of the people who didn’t survey the integrity of the houses are also ice cold. The AKP era is the era of constructionists after all. They wouldn’t offend the building contractors, of course! On the contrary, they legislated a zoning amnesty in 2018 giving license to illegal, unlicensed, unfit buildings. The hit came hard. Many rich people sent people to death knowingly.
Today, when they tell us that it is the day to unite, we have to stop and think. Wasn’t this sense of false unity used by governments and bosses to save themselves! Didn’t everything that happened to us happen because we fell for the sermons of this fake unity! What are we uniting for! We have lost tens of thousands of lives for the sake of some people’s greed for profit, their lust for profiteering and their fixation on being a one man government. Now, they say, we are to be silent! Where should we look for the reason of them wanting us to be silent? In our houses falling on us like cardboard, in hundreds of people not being able to find a warm shelter, a plate of soup; them waiting in anticipation for any officials to save their loved ones!
We can’t prevent an earthquake, but we can lower the losses to the minimum level by taking the necessary precautions. Country’s scientists warned us about an impending earthquake on every TV channel years prior. Furthermore, they created an emergency plan in case of an earthquake in the region and knocked on every governmental institution’s door to implement it. They were never answered. The signs were there, but the government led to tens of thousands of human deaths by not taking precautions.
The contractors builds houses sacrificing the quality of its cement, steel and bricks to save profits; just for the houses to crumble down in the first earthquake. The government, forget those private residentials, doesn’t even survey the hospitals, highways and viaducts they themselves ordered to build. It was completely possible to detect the buildings susceptible to take damage and fortify them to withstand an earthquake. However, the AKP government found it unnecessary to even give the money, which they collected for this particular reason, to fund this very important work.
Not enough search and rescue personnel and debris removal vehicles are able to be deployed to the region with haste. People screaming for help lose their lives in front of everyone’s eyes. Even though the first day was extremely critical, especially on these cold winter days, people were left to die by the government because the search and rescue personnel and the necessary equipment couldn’t be deployed quickly.
Places to gather for the hundreds of thousands of people rescued from the debris aren’t facilitated, tents and containers to shelter everyone aren’t built. The mayor, who is from the AKP party, goes and says, “We have bread shortages.”.
If you were to question the government, they would say “What can we even do?”.
The people are capable of putting an end to pains such as this one and those like this! Suffice it that we don’t cry our eyes out and bury our pains in our hearts. Let’s call them out and fight to prevent future disasters starting today!
IT’S TIME FOR EARTHQUAKE MOBILIZATION!
Today, the first thing to do is start an earthquake mobilization effort encompassing the entire country starting from the earthquake struck region. In the prospect of this mobilization;
Make the government accountable for the money collected all these years! Create an earthquake fund to be used country-wide!
Form an earthquake commission from trade associations and share their reports with the public!
The contractors of the buildings destroyed in the earthquake zone and the public personnel who gave licenses to these buildings should be tried with murderous intent; Seize their assets to pay as compensation to those whose houses turned to ruins!
Expropriate hotels, shopping malls and private schools to accommodate the people from the region heavily affected by the earthquake!
Immediately seize all food production facilities to solve the hunger problem!
Expropriate all private healthcare organizations to provide the necessary infrastructure for treating the injured!
Take super wealth taxes from the bosses, who never get off the backs of the people and those who work under them!
Cover the identification of damaged houses in all of the regions, primarily Istanbul, susceptible to earthquake and the costs of retrofitting, rebuilding and sheltering those who live in such houses from the earthquake fund! Identify new gathering places, demolish buildings occupying these areas! Move damaged public buildings immediately!
Give proper education about earthquakes in schools, workplaces and common living areas!