Author: Seyma Bayram Mallory Yu Ari Shapiro

As Turkey earthquake death toll grows, so does criticism of the Turkish government

Source(s): NPR

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The deadly earthquakes in Turkey reminded Asli Aydintasbas of another moment almost 25 years ago. She was in Istanbul when a massive quake struck in 1999, killing more than 17,000 people. 

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this was a big earthquake by any stretch of the imagination. We're looking into something that is of biblical proportions. But of course, understand that Turkey is on a seismic zone - two major fault lines - which means, since the terrible earthquake in 1999, the entire country had been talking about earthquake. Like, in Turkey, people know the names of main geologists, earthquake experts, that often appear on television. And what was expected was that there would be a massive earthquake and that Istanbul is not prepared. People are quite angry, increasingly so, because of issues like slow reaction or too centralized a reaction, which prevents other NGOs and some areas still really not reached.

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everything has to go through a central government, but the only entity that is allowed to do search and rescue is the government-sanctioned government entity. This decision-making issue that is too centralized - local officials, local authorities don't really have much say. They need the government official body to come and do the aid distribution, do the search and rescue. And that just is - just against human experience in terms of governance over centuries. We want these things decentralized for efficiency.

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