Earthquake survivors protest in eastern Turkey


Relatives of victims cry on the ruins after an earthquake in Ercis province of Van, in Turkey, on Oct. 25, 2011.


Ahmad Halabisaz

 Protestors in eastern Turkey called for the resignation of the provincial governor over what they say are insufficient relief efforts, Al Jazeera reported

About 300 demonstrators rallied in the city of Van angry because the governor told locals it was safe for them to return to their buildings before any assessment was taken on the safety of the buildings rattled by the recent 5.7-magnitude aftershock.

Tools to clear the rubble left by the quake and housing aid for displaced families have been insufficient, critics said

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Turkey late October, will the official death toll over 500. The quake and its aftershocks have taken a toll in Van and other cities in the eastern region with damage to infrastructure and fatalities growing by the day.

GlobalPost: Turkey earthquake: Death toll rises over 500 

Turkish prime minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted on Wednesday that the government had been slow to respond. "We admit that we failed in the beginning, within the first 24 hours,” he said. “We acknowledge flaws but these mistakes are pretty normal in such incidents.”

About 50,000 people have been affected and 2,000 buildings have been destroyed with another 3,700 buildings unfit for habitation from the earthquakes, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

GlobalPost: Turkey Earthquake photos 

A lack of coordination has become evident in the villagse outside Van where “the most in need are suffering” Muzaffer Baca, an official from the Turkish aid agency International Blue Crescent, told Al Jazeera.

Eastern Turkey is prone to earthquakes – the region sits on multiple fault lines. Two earthquakes in 1999 killed more than 20,000 people in northwest Turkey.