Partido Obrero statement on the earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Partido Obrero statement on the earthquake in Turkey and Syria

The earthquake has already taken tens of thousands of lives.

The Partido Obrero of Argentina is in deep solidarity with the victims and those affected by the earthquake in the states of Turkey and Syria, and we support the momentum of the campaign of the SEP of Turkey, while encouraging all humanitarian and organisational aid denouncing the responsibility of the Erdogan regime undertaken by workers’ and popular organisations.

The earthquake has already taken tens of thousands of lives. Millions are affected by the destruction of their homes. The true toll, however, is being hidden by the governments. Humanitarian aid is in short supply. A salient feature of the situation is the withholding of aid by Recep Erdogan’s Turkish government, which has allocated rescue funds to districts according to their political affinity rather than the needs of the people. This has hit especially those areas that are home to national minorities who are mostly opposed to the central state’s policies.

In Syria, resources are even more scarce, resulting in comparatively higher death tolls. After years of war, bombing and crimes against the civilian population, the situation is catastrophic. Despite this, imperialism refuses to lift the sanctions that would allow international humanitarian aid to arrive.

It is in this context that the campaign launched by the SEP to help and organise the victims of the earthquake in the most affected territory, combined with a strong condemnation of the Erdogan regime, which favoured real estate speculation and hotel businesses in detriment of the most elementary anti-earthquake measures and funds.

We support the perspective of the SEP, which calls for a great national mobilisation: that the government should be held to account for the anti-earthquake funds and that an independent commission should be set up to administer humanitarian aid.

We also denounce the responsibility of the capitalists who have benefited for years from the budget that should have been allocated to disaster funds, mostly associated with real estate speculation, big property and the hotel industry, whose facilities should be placed primarily for the benefit of the victims of the earthquake.

Private health facilities need to be centralised and expropriated and put at the service of the injured. The same goes for the large-scale production of foodstuffs and basic necessities.

A large national and international mobilisation in aid of the victims and those affected by the quake will require a comprehensive social reorganisation on new bases, under the leadership of the workers.