Tearing at the rubble in the dust and stench of their collapsed cities, ordinary Turks see no grounds for optimism. Nothing, they think, will change. In the outside world, there is compassion and eagerness to help, but there is also confusion. Are we looking at a truly "natural" disaster, or was it in a sense man-made through Turkey's failure to enforce building standards in one of the world's most dangerous seismic zones?
THE TURKS stand accused of Third Wordly incompetence and corruption. After the earthquake, the military were much quicker to look after their own, than civilians, it was said. And the casualty list was far higher than it would have been if the dwellings had not been jerry-built. Last Monday, Turkey could almost look like a European country, the continent's leading producer of textiles, with a large slice of high-tech industry as well. Today, that seems all too like a facade, for which the shoddy new buildings were a terribly apt image, impressive until the earth shuddered and collapsed them like card-castles. (Geoffrey Wheatcroft)
The Sunday Telegraph
THE DEATH toll in the Turkish earthquake has climbed past 12,000. It will go significantly higher yet, for many of the 35,000 still missing are unlikely to have survived the falling rubble. Only ten days ago, we were marvelling at the awesome spectacle provided by the solar eclipse, an event that reminded millions of the mystery and majesty of the world in which we live. The devastation in Turkey is an altogether more brutal reminder of our ultimate helplessness in the face of nature's might.
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