The earthquake that hit 10 of the southeastern cities in Turkey on the 6th of February 2023 is not just a natural disaster; this catastrophe is the result of devastating plunder of public funds. The perpetrators of such plunder cannot remove the wreck!
The government did not take the necessary actions within the 36 hours which are the most crucial hours for survival. Millions of people were left to die during the most horrendous disaster in Turkey. On the third day of the earthquake, the government introduced digital bans, preventing solidarity, coordination and communication among survivors and their relatives as well.
Instead of mobilising all public resources and civil capacity, the government announced a State of Emergency in 10 cities and officially declared that the ensuing process shall be pursued solely by the government regardless of any concern with democratic participation and accountability. Citizens’ right to demand support, to call for solidarity and to actively engage in the decision process for policy making and implementation was denied.
We know the perpetrators of such devastating disaster: they are the ones who violate our right to equality and freedom in the name of power, authority and unfair profit. We are facing a very tough process. We know that the patriarchal government, who have not protected women and LGBTI+ people hitherto, will not provide the necessary services that will meet all the needs of different groups.
The autonomous women’s and LGBTI+ organizations who have years of experience in the field should be recognised as the active actors in this process and the obstacles against their active participation should be removed immediately. The government should immediately stop polarising and criminalising discourses against civil society and open up all means of solidarity to utilise the public resources in their best capacities.
As feminist, women’s and LGBTI+ organizations from all around Turkey we have come together under the Women’s Coalition and we stand against patriarchy and the unjust and unequal policies imposed on us.
We are here with all our organising capacity all over Turkey to share our experiences and take part in citizen collaboration.