The news of the powerful earthquake, which happened in Pazarcık district of Kahramanmaraş early in the morning, shook the whole country.
According to the information provided by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake occurred in the Pazarcık district of Kahramanmaraş at 04.17 in the morning. This powerful earthquake shook the following cities: Kahramanmaraş, Kilis, Diyarbakır, Adana, Osmaniye, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Adıyaman, Malatya, and Hatay. So far, 284 of our citizens have lost their lives, and the earthquake has injured more. In addition, some buildings have been demolished, and the quake has severely damaged some. Search and rescue activities have immediately begun.
KESK offers condolences to the relatives of all our people who lost their lives in the earthquake. KESK also wishes a speedy recovery to people who were injured this morning. We feel the pain and destruction in our hearts. We sincerely hope that there will be no more loss of life and that the dimensions of the disaster will not grow anymore.
We will overcome every stage of this disaster through solidarity. Now is the time to immediately share the suffering of all our people who lost their relatives, homes, and shelter in the earthquake.
KESK and its affiliates have immediately taken action to do our best and fulfill the responsibilities. As a first step, KESK set up an emergency and crisis desk. We will take all necessary steps and use opportunities to create crisis desks together with other labor, professional, and democratic forces at the local level. Furthermore, we will do our best to heal the wounds and alleviate the suffering through coordination and cooperation with all our branches’ platforms, especially in the provinces affected by the earthquake.
Our delegations consisting of the executive committee members of KESK and its affiliates will visit the provinces affected by the earthquake as soon as possible.
We are fully aware that no statement or speech can respond to the sufferings under these challenging and tragic circumstances. Nevertheless, we consider it necessary to emphasize some facts once more.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to say that public authorities learned enough lessons, adopted necessary policies, and took measures from the earthquakes that resulted in the loss of thousands of our people in the past, particularly on 17 August 1999 in Gölcük, 12 November 1999 in Düzce, 1 May 2003 in Bingöl and 23 October 2011 in Van disaster.
Today’s disaster is an important warning for all of us. Everyone, particularly public authorities in the country, should pay more attention to the statements and recommendations of our scientists and experts from the chambers for years to prevent the loss of life and property in possible earthquakes. Rent-based zoning policies lead to unplanned and distorted urbanization and turn earthquake into a disaster that increases the loss of life and property. Furthermore, procedures that make unlawful construction, such as pardoning wrong and illegal zoning, must be immediately stopped, and an earthquake policy should be urgently made and adopted by taking the opinions of our scientists, chambers, and experts on the subject.
KESK, once again, offers its condolences to all our citizens who lost their relatives in the earthquake. Furthermore, KESK wishes a speedy recovery to people who were injured. Moreover, KESK calls for solidarity. It is the time to stand together, act together, and help all people. Everyone, particularly KESK affiliates and every member of our unions, should contribute to solidarity initiatives. Solidarity is the only way to alleviate the suffering of the earthquake.