Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Communist Party of Turkey on anniversary of deadly earthquake: "We will not forget, we will not forgive"

In a statement on the first anniversary of the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit South Eastern Turkey and Syria in February 2023, leading to at least 54,000 deaths, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) stresses out:

"We remember the great disaster like it was yesterday.

How can we forget the thousands of people who died under the rubble while the state was completely absent, who were displaced from their homes and left to despair, how can we forget our neighborhoods, our districts, our labor, our history. 

And can we ever forget why people's lives were completely disregarded? The bids that were awarded to make someone rich, bribery, materials stolen from construction sites, unplanned settlements, unlawfulness and lack of control brought about by zoning amnesties have come back to haunt our citizens.

The capitalists who are at the top of this dirty system dominated by the market economy, the political power that works for their interests, all political actors who do not speak out against this system, and all those who benefit from the generated rent have a responsibility in this picture.

Nowadays, it seems that they are counting on the fact that a year has passed and our memories have been weakened so that they can continue on their way by shaking off this responsibility, or they believe their blackmail will yield results.

Erdoğan declared that Hatay was left in the lurch after the earthquake for political reasons, and threatened them with elections.

The government nominates the state official who was primarily responsible for zoning and urban planning at the time of the earthquake as a mayoral candidate for Istanbul, a city that lives in daily fear of earthquakes.

The opposition is trying to reinstate as the mayor of Hatay, the city most devastated by the earthquake, a man known for his corruption, zoning crimes and close ties with contractors, who has made the city more vulnerable to the earthquake with the steps he had taken during his years at the helm of the local administration.

This is called defying the people.

One year after the great disaster, it is such a dare to present those who are responsible for all this suffering as an alternative to a people whose pain is still sharp. It is an attempt to humiliate and surrender the people by ignoring their will and honor.

As we do not forget those responsible for February 6, we do not forget and make note of those who now dare to challenge the people they made suffer.

The AKP itself may have forgotten the latest number of casualties it had announced to the public, and may have muddled the truth and lies together. Let them ask the citizens who lived through the earthquake and those who worked day and night to heal the wounds in the region. The things that have been announced, the things that have not been announced and the things that cannot be covered up no matter how much they want to…

There is one more thing that we have not forgotten, that reveals itself in the most difficult times and is engraved in our memories from a year ago. We do not forget our people who have been glorified with their resistance, self-sacrifice and solidarity in the face of this picture, while this social system, which is maintained under the reign of money, brings great destruction, humiliation and misery to the people. We trust that this heritage will eventually not succumb to impositions and threats.

With this confidence in our people, our country and ourselves, on the first anniversary of the February 6 earthquake, we remember those we lost in the earthquake with respect and continue to struggle to establish a country with cities that will never collapse again."