HDP criticizes government for shutting out non-state efforts
An official of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said on Thursday that the party's crisis center has dispatched eight teams to the earthquake zone in Turkey with two thousand volunteers taking part in efforts to provide assistance for the victims. He also criticized the government over its insistence on a strictly centralized response and for shutting out contributions.
Noting that they are taking calls from people in impacted areas round the clock and referring the reported cases to the Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD), Mahfuz Guleryuz warned that AFAD's efforts have fallen short in the face of the disaster's magnitude.
He criticized the government's attitude, saying:
"We are faced with an administration who excludes the civil society and political parties, who tries to achieve everything through means of a centralized structure, and who fails to do it."
"The centralized state structure has collapsed. This structure, which has all the power concentrated in the center, has turned into a clumsy mechanism, and brings harm instead of help."
Guleryuz criticized Turkish vice president Fuat Oktay who targeted local administrations' assistance efforts. Oktay recently said, "How can it be possible that local administrations will achieve something that the state cannot? Who do you think you are?"
Guleryuz responded to Oktay:
"Here's the answer to his question: We are the people. We are the local administrators who you removed and replaced with appointed trustees so that you may steal from us. Your inadequacy has been exposed in many occasions. You are clumsy, slow, insensitive and callous. You are using the resources of the people for your political gains and for your supporters. We reject this. We reject your incapability to dispatch necessary equipment to many disaster areas even four days after the earthquake."
He noted that HDP's crisis center has dispatched hundreds of lorries to the disaster zone and launched a donation campaign in support of victims.