Resentment towards the Turkish government has been building since the two major earthquakes hit the country this week, followed by the drastic change in weather as temperatures plummeted.
Death Toll Rising
The death toll from the earthquakes in Turkey and bordering Syria reached 20,000 on Thursday.
Thousands of people who lost their houses spent a chilly Wednesday night on the roads of Adiyaman. They were crowded around small little fires for warmth and with no cover. In the southern city, there was no power or water.
Some people decided to risk the subzero conditions and stay outside, bypassing structures that seemed to be unharmed out of concerns of yet another earthquake striking.
As the earthquakes keep on claiming more lives, some people wept in silence, whereas others cried out in desperation.
🙏Sometimes miracles happen!🙏 pic.twitter.com/t8hIK90TGj
— 10LOL (@TenLaughter) February 9, 2023
One man barged into a facility for an aid agency and yelled for authorities to save his family. The 60-year-old, Perihan Sayar, claimed to have lost both her house and her granddaughter, Ulku, who was just 10 years old.
She said she lived by herself in her little apartment and it is now gone, along with everything else.
Many within Adiyaman expressed their outrage at what they perceived as a delayed government reaction. They said emergency responders had come to the city unprepared to sift through the wreckage. NBC News was unable to fact-check this claim.
Nursen Guler spoke on Wednesday and said no one is there to really help them. She implied she did not trust the authorities and continued by saying she has two sons; one is lost in the wreckage, and another is in hospital.
She said all they can do is just wait for first responders, but so far, none have arrived.
A young Syrian boy smiled and started to play with rescue workers who pulled him from the rubble of a building that was destroyed following deadly earthquakes in Turkey and Syria pic.twitter.com/kM3Qt4UqvG
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 8, 2023
While speaking of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been their president for over years, Guler said in this time of crisis, he abandoned them
In numerous other locations, where inhabitants have similarly been made to take refuge outside, in tents, or in emergency housing, the government’s reaction has been criticized.
Sabiha Alinak told reporters the government has been missing in action for two days and no one knows where they are or what they are doing. He said the public has been pleading, but it will be up to the public to save those trapped in the rubble.
However, the disaster’s massive magnitude seemed to confound the government.
Turkey’s Government Fails
With a magnitude of 7.8, the first one of Monday’s catastrophic quakes slammed Turkey and bordering Syria shortly before dawn.
According to the standard magnitude scale, it was “major.” Just hours after the first quake, a second earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 occurred close by.
Turkey’s emergency management organization reports over 17,130 individuals passed away. As per Syrian government officials, more than 3,800 individuals died in the country.