Cracks Appear in Erdogan’s Government: The response to Turkey’s earthquake and the looming election


Last week on The New Arab Voice we looked at the aftermath of the recent immense earthquake in Syria. 

This week, we're over the border in Turkey, which experience some of the worst devastation and the highest number of casualties. 

Immediately following the earthquake, the state's response was slow. The agency responsible for disasters, AFAD, missed the crucial window when the most number of people can be saved.

It quickly became apparent to observers that there was a serious problem, and that these problems were being exposed at the worst possible time. As people questioned the response of AFAD, people also surveyed the devastation  and asked why so many buildings had pancaked; trapping people inside. 

Soon, stories of buildings that don't meet regulatory codes and payoffs started to emerge. 

These questions have put a huge amount of pressure on the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was rumoured to be considering a delay for the scheduled parliamentary and presidential elections. 

This week on The New Arab Voice, we ask whether the state’s response to the earthquake was adequate? Why did so many buildings, that were built in a known high-risk earthquake area, collapse with such ease? And can the country move forward under President Erdogan’s leadership, or is it time for a change. 

Joining us to talk Turkey is Ömer Özkizilcik (@OmerOzkizilcik), an independent foreign policy and security analyst based in Ankara; and Mustafa Gurbuz (@Mustafa__Gurbuz) a nonresident Fellow at Arab Center Washington (@ArabCenterWDC) and a senior adjunct faculty in the Arab World Studies program in the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture at American University in Washington, DC.

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This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge.

Theme music by Omar al-Fil. 

Other music by Blue Dot Sessions.

To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice or email [email protected]

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