Is anything being done for survivors

Lauren Booth


Channel: Lauren Booth

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I've just spent several days in Islam here, one of the worst hit regions of the Turkish part of the appalling earthquake. And I've been really surprised to read some of the criticism of the Turkish response to what is catastrophe on an epic scale. The World Health Organization is calling this the worst natural disaster in 100 years. So I want to look at today what is the Turkish response? And what I've seen with my own eyes, kindly note, no one is paying me for this. I am not supported by anyone. And my views are based purely on what I've seen with my own eyes. People I've spoken to firsthand testimony and the organization's on the ground. Okay, let's get going. Officials in Turkey

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say that 113 Arrest warrants have been issued in connection with the construction of buildings that collapsed in the earthquake. Turkish police have now taken at least 12 people into custody, including building contractors to I was in a stadium in Isela here, which had quickly been turned into a displacement camp. I met the families there and I spoke to them. I was speaking mostly to the organizers. And it was so cold, it's basic. And it's it's grim. This earthquake has affected 10 provinces in Turkey, home to more than 13 point 4 million people. And that area produces 10% of the gross domestic product, the GDP of turkey here. So in numbers, this is a huge impact that is

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resonating. Right across the country. There had been gas leaks. Can you imagine what is under the ground right now what is the situation with the water pipes with the gas pipes with the electricity lines, everything is smashed at a level that we can't see in the days after the earthquake. There weren't gas explosions in the hair tie region. So the gas has been turned off. People are they're cold, they can go back to their homes if they haven't been damaged. But there's there's no heating. There's no hot water. It's a real hardship on them. And we must understand where that anger and frustration comes from the Turkish Government has sent so far 70,000 police officers 60,000 John

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Dhanraj units, even 1000 postcards have been sent to the area. And on top of that a further 131,000 personnel to help with the relief operation 79 helicopters have been sent to the region and we used to applaud them when you see them going backwards and forwards because you're like Allahu Akbar, inshallah somebody has been taken from the rubble, there is now a pledge by the government to totally demolish 10 affected cities and rebuild them within a year I'm hearing on the ground, it's actually going to be two years. I mean, even that is a huge ask. And it's very quick, but that's the pledge that the people are going to be latching on to, and that's been made for three months state

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of emergency has been declared. And with this, people's debts are going to be delayed. The central bank of Turkey has said there'll be a suspension of loan repayments and tax has been suspended for businesses in the local region. That is huge. It's a huge lifting of some of the worries afflicting people right now as families in Turkey are struggling to find their relatives and to make sense of what's going on. The schools have been completely closed for two weeks, and there's been a suspension on schools in the affected 10 provinces. Families who can't return home because of the earthquake will receive one year free rent free flights on Turkish Airlines to evacuate or reunite

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families pledged and 10,000. Turkish Lira financial aid for families. And let's remember the places that were slowest in joining this effort are the most critical. The United Nations waited days before getting involved. And the US was one of the last countries to actually send support. So we support the people, the bravery and the struggle and we must continue to help them may Allah bless them. And we remember the people of Syria as well Don't believe everything you see in the mainstream. There is a political agenda there. And I'm just here to bring a bird's eye view and a different way of looking at things in sha Allah Salaam Alaikum