Where there is no democracy there is bound to be more human suffering.

There is a correlation between the lack of democracy in a country and the level of destruction left in the wake of natural disasters. In a functioning democracy, those in power can be held accountable, a system of checks and balances will control spending and the public will be informed of every step. Where there is no democracy there is bound to be more human suffering.

The state also failed to carry out swift, systemic emergency rescue efforts. In many parts of the disaster zone, people were left to their own devices, trying to save their loved ones with their bare hands, digging through rubble with whatever they could muster. Some of them could hear voices from under the ruins and experienced the immense pain and trauma of not being able to help their families and friends. A father sat for hours holding the hand of his dead daughter, only her arm showing through the concrete. For impossibly long hours no official help arrived in cities such as Hatay. People trapped under demolished buildings sent tweets giving their location, begging for help. It is mind-blowing that the next day access to Twitter was blocked, at a time when every minute was critical to save lives.

Elif Shafak, from “Erdoğan, the earthquake and the failings in my homeland.” The writer Elif Shafak on a natural disaster compounded by man-made greed and corruption. (FT.com, February 10, 2023)


Notes: Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels)

Comments

  1. There is nothing, not even a functional democracy, that can withstand a natural disaster of this caliber.

    I am a huge fan of Elif Shafak. Not a big fan of Erdogan. And where Shafak stands on him is very clear.

    This is not the time to point fingers, though.
    My heart goes out to the people of the affected area, for their unimaginable suffering and losses.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. no one should have to endure this

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Turkey and Erdogan … “There is a correlation between the lack of democracy in a country and the level of destruction left in the wake of natural disasters.” … and more!! — Elif Shafak, from “Erdoğan, the earthquake and the failings in my homeland.” The writer Elif Shafak on a natural disaster compounded by man-made greed and corruption. (FT.com, February 10, 2023).

    Like

  4. How can we ‚like‘ a post like this? Such immeasurable tragedy and misery. But disasters of this magnitude would bring any country to their knees. And let‘s not forget, these are (already) poor regions. They never had the monetary possibilities to build houses or shelters to withstand earthquakes. Not to speak of political leadership, or lack thereof. It‘s inhuman and horrendous. My heart is bleeding for those poor, poor ppl.

    Like

  5. Unbelievable how much suffering is going on there.

    Like

  6. I just reread this and noticed “access to twitter was blocked.” Who blocked it? And why? Lives might have been saved.

    Like

  7. It is more than the absence of democracy (though I’m not offering kudos to Erdogan), it’s antiquated systems, neglected infrastructure, and arguably pass poor disaster management. I don’t disagree – in the absence of democracy there is an inevitability to significant suffering – but in the face of natural disasters unlike anything experienced before, it’s difficult to isolate blame. After all, we thoroughly botched the emergency management after Katrina, as an example. And there is still suffering and insufficient attention paid to lower income wards…Sorry, I’m going on too long.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Is it about democracy or our ability to be ready to respond to the needs of others and our shared humanity? “Democracy” may not be the right answer, but caring for all fellow beings always is. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Suffering, so tragic and on this scale -compounding heartbreak…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for sharing. The point which struck me was :: where “we’re all in this together” is the prevailing value system, people can address even the most massive and tragic situations. Look at wartime [WWII] England. Etc. The current flirtation with dictators and authoritarian values by the radical right wing in our country fails to see that “every man for himself” has its limitations. It is a failed model for a society. I thought our country had learned this lesson for good, but clearly it is a lesson that must be learned over and over again. IMHO

    Like

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