How does a country with the world’s best earthquake engineers and the strictest building codes fail to prepare for a historic earthquake?
That’s the question many Turkish citizens are asking after magnitude 7.8 and 7.7 earthquakes devastated much of its southeastern provinces on February 6. Tens of thousands of buildings were levelled, trapping and killing more than 40,000 people beneath them – the highest recorded death toll from a natural disaster in the country’s history.
But behind this tragic toll is a dark history of negligence, corruption and bad policy that not only stopped Turkey from preparing for the inevitable, it created a ticking time bomb that would one day explode.
In this episode of The Big Picture, we examine what should have been done differently and talk to survivors and experts about who they believe is responsible.
*** Correction: Yusuf Turan’s relatives were recovered by rescue efforts three days after the earthquakes, though he continued to sleep next to the rubble of their homes
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