Van people protest Erdogan: The State did not help us!

After the earthquake in Elazığ, Turkish President Erdogan said: "We have rebuilt Van and Erciş." Words that made the people of Van react and saying that Erdogan did nothing and only forced them to get into debt.

According to official figures, 644 people lost their lives and more than 4,000 people were injured in the earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 and 7.2 in the city of Van and Erciş in 2011. But the Turkish state has always hidden the real number of those who died in the earthquake from the public. According to unofficial figures, nearly 3,000 people lost their lives.

A a result of the two major earthquakes, more than 30,000 buildings were destroyed and tens of thousands of houses were severely damaged. Aid sent after the earthquake was not delivered to the people but instead was diverted to governor, district governors, AKP provincial and district organizations and associations close to AKP. In other words, aid was also delivered to AKP supporters. In fact, most of the aid put in warehouses was sold.

There is no State in Van

On 23 October 2011, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake destroyed the city center of Erciş, while on 9 November that year the 6.5 magnitude earthquake destroyed the center of Van.

Three days after the 23 October earthquake, State rescue teams finally arrived. The people had removed those under the rubble with their own means for three days and brought the injured to hospitals themselves. The state came to Erciş 3 days after the earthquake, HDP municipalities such as Amed, Batman and Siirt reached Erciş within 3 hours of the earthquake and participated in the rescue work helping the citizens.

After the earthquake, more than 15,000 houses were built in Erciş, Edremit, Kalecik, Kevenli, Bostaniçi and Toprakkale with the money of the Kurdish people and people around the world.

The government forced the earthquake victims to buy the new houses for 80 thousand Turkish liras. Although 9 years have passed since the two major earthquakes, wounds are still opened. The state turned the houses it supposedly sold to people into rented houses, forcing people to continue to pay. And when they could not pay they were evicted.

Thousands of earthquake victims have been evicted because they could not pay their "mortgage" to banks. The houses sold for 80 thousand Turkish liras increased to 200 thousand Turkish liras because of the accumulated debts, making the state gaining over something it spent nothing for.

This is why earthquake survivors in Van reacted harshly to the words of Turkish President Erdogan after the earthquake in Elazığ. Citizens said: "Erdogan did nothing for us, he charged us 80 thousand Turkish liras. He forced victims to pay for something which was built with donations. No aid was delivered to the people, just the AKP members were benefited."

The survivors also reminded that State rescue teams only came to the area after three days. "We worked for three days without any State help, many people died because they were not reached in time."