Hatay residents: Alevi neighborhoods receive no aid

Residents of Küçükdalyan and Subaşı neighbourhoods in Hatay province reacted to the government which has delivered no aid for days, saying that the government discriminates against them since they are Alevi neighbourhoods.

Earthquake survivors have been left to their fate in Hatay, one of the cities devastated by Monday’s earthquakes. The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), which claims to have delivered aid to every point hit by the earthquakes, has not arrived in Hatay.  The people have struggled for days without electricity, water and hygienic materials and tried to pull their relatives out of the rubble. Since no construction equipment was not sent to the region on time, many people trying to hold on to life by making a sound under the rubble lost their lives. Corpses are kept wrapped in blankets among the ruins in the neighbourhoods since "the morgues are full".  Left alone by the state and the government in all respects, people are provided food and supplies thanks to the aid delivered by many political parties and unions, including the HDP, the TÖP, the HDK, the TKP, the TİP, Community Centres and Kaldirac. As a result of the intense efforts by the few search and rescue teams in the region, where construction equipment arrived only 56 hours after the earthquake, many people, including children, were rescued from the wreckage alive.

Speaking to ANF, the residents of Hatay reacted to the official discrimination by saying, "Since we are Alevis, no aid has been delivered".


The Küçükdalyan neighbourhood, where TÖP aid teams could arrive 48 hours after the earthquake, is one of the areas where no state aid has been provided. A resident, Sami Demir, told ANF that although one of the greatest destruction took place in Küçükdalyan, no state institution has come to the neighbourhood. Demir said: “Although it is the first neighbourhood at the entrance of the city, neither the gendarmerie, nor the police or AFAD have come here. At least 500 people have died in the neighbourhood. I saw my aunt's daughter's feet under the wreckage, but I couldn't do anything. We could have saved a few more lives if they had at least sent a digger. Let alone remove the wreckage, they did not even provide water or soup. I haven't slept for three days. I finally broke the windows of a supermarket in order to bring food to children.”

Demir emphasized that aid was not brought on purpose since the Küçükdalyan neighbourhood is an Alevi settlement, like many neighbourhoods where aid is not delivered. “We stopped an ambulance to ask for help, but their response was 'we have a doctor, but we do not have supplies.' My daughter sent me medicine from Mersin. The state did not send us any medicine. Half of the neighbourhood's population consists of old people. Shame on the government. The state is not there for Alevis.”


Demir reacted to the opposition party CHP , which is widely endorsed by the Alevi population. “The Alevis have always voted for the CHP. Why does the party not come to help the Alevi people? They will ask for our votes for the next elections. But we will punish them, they deserve it,” he said.


ANF reporters witnessed the same situation in the Subasi neighbourhood where residents are furious, and power is cut. Hüseyin Kuş, one of the survivors of the earthquake, stated that neither the state nor AFAD visited the neighbourhood. Kuş said that his 8-storey building was destroyed, yet no one has offered any help for three days now.

The man’s son, Sergen Kuş, confirmed what his father said: “As 80-90% of Hatay’s population is Alevi, we are not the first priority in terms of aid. This is not new; it has been like this for centuries. No aid, supplies, or tents have been delivered to us. We sleep on the streets; we light a fire to warm up. We have a supermarket, and we keep watch in front of it to prevent looting.”