Earthquake in Turkey: Escalating costs threaten economy

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THE CAR-REPAIR shop where Cihan Cakiroglu worked is gone, his boss is dead, and his August wages, which his now homeless family needs, will never come.

The nearby Goodyear tyre plant is still standing, but most of the employees are too busy searching for relatives or shelter to show up for work.

The social and economic costs of the earthquake are becoming clear. As well as the cost of finding homes and work for the thousands like Mr Cakiroglu, experts say that each day factories remain idle will lead to the loss of a further pounds 190m.

The government, struggling to cut a federal deficit, lacks funds to repair roads, bridges and electrical lines. And, as the area hit provides almost half the tax revenue, it will have even less income to count on.

The cost to the economy could top pounds 13bn, 10 per cent of Turkey's GNP - enough to drag it into recession, experts say. Bulent Akgerman, of the Aegean Young Businessmen Association, wants a six-day working week to overcome the impact of the quake. Others are demanding aid from the international community, which has already provided pounds 316m. (AP)