HDP deputies from earthquake area: People are struggling alone

HDP deputies who visit the earthquake area in North Kurdistan criticize the handling of the crisis by the AKP-MHP government and accuse the regime of leaving people to their fate.

The number of victims of the earthquake in North Kurdistan, Turkey, Rojava and Syria continues to rise. More than 5,000 fatalities have now been recorded. The AKP-MHP regime has declared a state of emergency over the ten affected provinces. People's Democratic Party (HDP) MPs made their way to the disaster area on Monday morning. Although today is a particularly critical day, as the chances of survival for those buried are decreasing faster and faster, there is apparently hardly any rescue work taking place. The WHO (World Health Organization) is already warning that the number of victims could continue to rise to 20,000.

Orhan: The humans are left to their own fate

HDP Van MP Muazzez Orhan reported from Avasîm (tr. Islahiye) in the North Kurdish province of Dîlok (Antep) and said that people are trying to save themselves using their own means. Standing in front of a collapsed eight-storey building, Orhan explained: “Rescuers have still not arrived. Most of Avasîm is in the same situation. People are exhausted. There is no help. People are desperate, help is urgently needed. Basic needs such as water, diapers, baby food, feminine hygiene items and groceries must be met. People are left to their own fate.”

Bülbül: No state representative, no AFAD - there is simply no one there

HDP MP Kemal Bülbül is in Semsûr. He reports from the Cumhuriyet district that many people are buried under the collapsed buildings. Bülbül said: "I've been here since 8 am on Monday morning. I came here three hours after the earthquake and since then there has been no sign of AFAD, any official, community representative, military. There is no government aid, no food or water supply. The weather is cold and rainy. Aftershocks occurred during the night. People have to stay outside. From here I shout loudly: We need the support of our fellow citizens and humanitarian solidarity. Help! We must openly denounce the attitude and behavior of the government. There is no help for the citizens, no rubble removal, no rescue of the people trapped under the rubble. I don't know how many people are buried under the building I'm standing in front of. We hear their voices and the people here are trying to save them on their own.”

"Four of my daughters have died"

HDP MPs Abdullah Koç and Şevin Çoşkun are also in Semsûr. Standing in front of a collapsed building in Kayalık district, Koç said: “No official authorities came. People carry out search and rescue operations here on their own.” A woman interrupted the statement and listed the names of six people who were buried under the debris. She said: "I screamed, screamed and screamed. They said to me, let's go. Four of my daughters have died. Anything else to say? Six people from one family are dead. Nobody came to help. Maybe at least one of them will have been saved.”

Paylan: "A Battle against time and cold"

HDP MP Garo Paylan is staying in Rezan (tr. Bağlar). He said that many people are trying to rescue victims. He added: "From time to time, the work is stopped to hear if a voice can be heard and then resumed to reach the place the voice comes from. On the other hand, families continue to wait anxiously. Everyone is waiting with hope for the rescue of their loved ones. It's a battle against time and cold, because time is not our friend. The families and their loved ones under the rubble have been in the cold for 36 hours so far. Today is a very critical day. Nobody can stay in the high-rise buildings in the neighbourhood. There is a serious accommodation problem. A number of residents have left Amed for other cities. All the houses are damaged, none of them are habitable. The houses are all empty. Tents and container cities must be set up immediately. Some families found temporary shelter in the homes of others."

Hatimoğulları: Thousands of buried people

HDP MP Tülay Hatimoğulları is in Hatay. She also reported about the lack of rescue work. She said: "Although it has been 24 hours since the biggest earthquake Turkey has ever experienced, no relief, search or rescue operations have been carried out. I drove from Erzin to Samdağ in Hatay, but we couldn't even see any official in charge on the road. The situation is deplorable. Neither humanitarian aid nor search teams have reached the region so far. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people now lie under the rubble. As in the past, this place continues to be treated as second class. It is vital that humanitarian aid arrives as quickly as possible and that search and rescue operations are initiated. In this context, we call on everyone, especially the authorities, to cooperate. It's just too much. In fact, people are being let down here. This is not acceptable. People are dying, but there is only irresponsibility."