News / Europe

Turkey Accepts Offers of Earthquake Aid

Rescue workers work to save people trapped under debris after an earthquake in Ercis, near the eastern Turkish city of Van, October 25, 2011.
Rescue workers work to save people trapped under debris after an earthquake in Ercis, near the eastern Turkish city of Van, October 25, 2011.
Dorian Jones

After a third night of freezing conditions in southeastern Turkey, hope of finding more survivors from Sunday's powerful earthquake is beginning to fade. But with winter approaching and thousands of people homeless, fear is growing of a greater crisis facing the area.

Two more people have been found alive by rescue workers in their collapsed homes. A teacher and a young student were pulled out of the rubble on Wednesday. The student was found by rescuers using sophisticated micro-cameras that penetrated deep into the collapsed building.

But with powerful aftershocks continuing and sub-freezing temperatures falling on the region for a fourth night, hopes of finding more survivors are fading. The hard decision to turn search-and-rescue into a clearance operation is now looming, and the risk of disease is growing. There are already reports of outbreaks of diarrhea among children.

Video clip: Turkey earthquake rescue

The government has now accepted offers of help from 30 countries around the world, including Israel. Relations between Israel and Turkey have been strained since Israeli commandos raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last year, killing nine Turkish activists.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul welcomed the help. He says nearly 50 presidents called with offers of help and that the Foreign Ministry will reach out as soon as it is determined there is a need. President Gul says Turkey did not initially make a call for the international community's help but later reversed its decision.

Criticism has been steadily growing over the government's rejection of most international help. Turkey had initially accepted offers of help only from Iran and Azerbaijan, which border the quake-stricken region. Following the quake, Ankara had at first said it was capable of dealing with the crisis on its own.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly attacked those who criticized his government's handling of the situation. He says the earthquake in and around the city of Van is a litmus test and that critics of his government are provoking the region's people. He says the critics do not care about the dead, those trapped under the rubble, or the collapsed houses. Mr. Erdogan says they are only trying to profit from the situation.

Analysts say the reason behind Ankara's eventual decision to accept aid is the growing concern that the region could be facing an even bigger crisis.

The 7.2 magnitude quake destroyed thousands of apartment blocks and leveled numerous villages where the houses are made of clay and mud. With winter fast approaching, authorities are under increasing pressure to provide for those who have lost their homes.

While tent cities and field kitchens have been built in several towns and cities, officials have admitted they underestimated the need for tents. Observers say there is now a growing awareness on the part of the government that it is a race against time to accommodate the thousands of homeless before winter sets in.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs