Earthquake death toll soars as criticism of Turkish response grows louder

The death toll from the earthquake on Monday in Turkey and Syria climbed to over 21,000 on Thursday as search efforts continue and outcry gets louder about what some are saying was a botched response by the Turkish government in the direct aftermath of the quake.

Rescue teams have spent the week sifting through piles of rubble left by over 6,000 buildings in the region that toppled when the first quake hit early Monday morning. Governments from around the world have sent search teams to assist in the search and rescue/recovery efforts. On Thursday, the death toll officially topped 21,000 as hundreds of thousands remain injured and hospitals are filled with patients.

As the desperate search for survivors carries on, critics have come out against the Turkish government’s lack of urgency on Monday and in the days directly after the quake and the resulting aftershocks left the area devastated. “This government was just not prepared,” said  Soli Ozel from Istanbul’s Kadir Has University to NPR. “To make matters worse, if that were even possible,” he says, “the government is also making it almost impossible for other organizations, civil society, citizens themselves and mayors and municipalities to actually help.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged on Wednesday that the government had experienced some issues responding to the quake at first, but claimed the response had picked up in the following days, and called the critiques “lies and slander,” according to the Associated Press.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been left homeless in the wake of the earthquake, which has quickly taken its place as one of the worst natural disasters in modern history.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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