Hatay's struggle echoes in Ankara

Hatay's struggle echoes in Ankara
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Earthquake victims and MPs converge to voice their pleas and expose neglect.

by Ogulcan Ozgenc

Eight months have elapsed since Hatay (Antioch) was rocked by a devastating earthquake, leaving the city and its citizens in a precarious state. In a press statement convened at Cemal Sureya Park, Ankara, the victims, supported by several MPs, echoed their enduring woes and the apparent neglect by the state.

Brought together by the People's Houses, the victims found solace and strength in unity, their cries for help accompanied by MPs from the Green Left Party and EMEP. As the victims narrated their ordeal, slogans like "We will rebuild Hatay" filled the air, declaring their unwavering spirit.

A city drowned in dust

Berna Demirdas of Halkevleri commenced the press address with a poignant recount of the citizens' ordeal. "We were unheard, unaided, and left to contend with the aftermath alone," she asserted. Unsupervised demolitions following the earthquake have choked the city with dust, health facilities are inaccessible, and students are without qualified schools.

Yet, amid the despair, solidarity has birthed infirmaries and training areas. "We realized there's no state aid coming; there is only us, the citizens, and our unwavering spirit of solidarity," Demirdaş asserted.

Unheard and unseen

Sezai Diyapoglu, a survivor, took the platform to convey the muted pleas of the victims. Their fundamental rights to shelter, education, and health remain elusive for eight months. "We are in Ankara today because they have not seen or heard Hatay," Diyapoglu affirmed. Their presence was a stark reminder of the state's unmet responsibilities.

Particular policy or neglect?

MP Tulay Hatimogullari accused the government of implementing a 'special policy' towards Hatay, neglecting the city and its citizens. The failed responsibility has bred an environment where fires break out in containers and tents are submerged in floods.

Nebiye Merturk, chairperson of People's Houses, emphasized the neglected state of Hatay. "The government sees rent; we see a life to be rebuilt," she declared, condemning the rejection of parliamentary questions regarding Hatay with AKP-MHP votes.

Lies uncovered

EMEP's Sevda Karaca pulled no punches in highlighting the blatant lies peddled to cover the government's inaction. She promised continued efforts to expose these truths. "They are trying to veil our reality with lies, but we will continue raising our voice," Karaca affirmed.