In epicentre of Turkey quakes, survivors are indifferent to upcoming polls
In the southern Turkish town of Pazarcik, the epicentre of the devastating February 6 earthquakes, people are focused on just trying to survive. Tens of thousands of residents left the town after the disaster and for the ones left behind without adequate shelter or facilities, holding a presidential election on May 14 seems incongruous.
They live in the dust, surrounded by the wreckage of buildings slated for demolition. The town of Pazarcik, the epicentre of the February 6 earthquakes in Turkey’s southern Kahramanmaras province, is a shadow of its former self. Only a few damaged buildings have been demolished and the rubble cleared away to make way for vacant lots.
“There’s no one left in the streets," laments Mustafa Kayki, a local elected official of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a rightwing nationalist party. “Around 20,000 people have left Pazarcik since this terrible tragedy. Our voters are scattered. Pazarcik has been scattered. Our dear Pazarcik has turned into hell overnight, dark, a ruined city. It's painful."
At a street corner, two construction workers are busy renovating a shop on the ground floor of a building, which has a big pile of cement stacked at the entrance. There are no signs of political campaigning here and the workers appear indifferent about the upcoming polls. "There’s nothing to say. Just look around," shrugs one worker.
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