There is discrimination between quake-hit provinces, Green Left Party MP says from Hatay

Visiting quake-hit provinces on the seventh month of the major earthquakes, the Green Left Party (YSP) delegation in Hatay pointed out that the province's “deprivation of health services and education” forces people to migrate.

A Green Left Party delegation visiting earthquake victims in the southern Hatay province

Burcu Özkaya Günaydın / Gazete Duvar

Turkey’s opposition Green Left Party (YSP) have been visiting the provinces affected by the deadly Feb. 6 earthquakes. On Sept. 21, a party delegation paid a visit to the southern Hatay province. 

The delegation visited quake-victims at several locations, listening to their problems.

An earthquake victim who has been staying in a tent in Uğur Mumcu Park said that their house was moderately damaged, and that they could not renovate their house because the condition of those who own moderately damaged houses was unknown. The survivor added that they have been living in a tent because containers were not available for those who own houses with moderate damage.

The delegation also paid a visit to Ali Atakan, the father of Ahmet Atakan who lost his life in Antakya in 2013 linked to the nationwide Gezi Park protests

Atakan said Hatay “was left to die and forgotten. The state owes us a lot, we want what we deserve.”

Another earthquake victim staying in Ahmet Atakan Park showed their injured feet to the delegation and said, “I collect the iron from the rubble (of the collapsed buildings to earn some money). I got an iron stuck in my foot and almost lost it. It still hasn't healed. Winter is coming, what will we do?”

Another victim stated that there are still many cases of theft.

Some victims complained about the transportation to schools. 

One of them stated that they had two children, that both of their schools were in different and distant places from each other. “I spend all day on the road from school to school, it's literally torture. They say we have the right to shuttle, I go to the governor's office, they say ‘it's not here,’ I go to school and they say ‘it’s not here.’ We are living in a tent, we don't know what will happen, we want to have dinner, but we are covered in dust.”

After their visit, the YSP lawmaker Tülay Hatimoğulları stated that they detected discrimination between the quake-hit provinces.

“Hatay's deprivation of health services and education is interpreted as forcing the people to migrate. We do not accept attempts to change the demographic structure. We will prepare a report on what happened in the earthquake area and we will be in solidarity,” she added.

Two deadly earthquakes struck Turkey’s southeast on Feb. 6, one at a magnitude of 7.7 and the other at 7.6. More than 50,000 people died according to the official figures in 11 southern, southeastern and eastern provinces.