A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and northern Syria Feb. 6, triggering a social catastrophe. More than 11,000 people have been killed. Rescue efforts, with international help, are continuing.
Southern Turkey is home to many of the country’s Kurds, long oppressed by the Turkish rulers. In Syria hard-hit locations include areas under the control of rebel groups challenging the Bashar al-Assad dictatorship, as well as camps housing millions of refugees displaced as a result of the country’s civil war.
The scale of the deaths and destruction was severely amplified by the refusal of capitalist governments to reinforce the structure of housing and other infrastructure along major fault lines in the region. After previous earthquakes Kurds in Turkey condemned authorities for having built shoddy housing.
Next week’s issue of the Militant will have more coverage.