Turkey After a Cataclysmic Earthquake — with Soli Ozel



Two massive consecutive earthquakes — of 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude — hit southeastern Turkey, along with neighboring regions in Syria, on Feb. 6, causing one of the deadliest natural disasters in the region in the past hundred years. The death toll has passed 47,000.


Soli Ozel — an academic at Kadir Has University in Istanbul and a frequent commentator of Turkish politics — joined Riada Asimovic Akyol on the Wider Angle podcast to explain the sorrow, anguish and anger within a grieving nation.


Ozel described why the citizens in most quake-stricken provinces said that the state assistance did not arrive in a timely manner and how big volunteer campaigns and civilian endeavors have continued despite the miserable collective morale in Turkey. Given the high level of political polarization in the country, Ozel emphasized “first immense empathy, support, solidarity and perhaps much more importantly the ability of the society to actually organize and mobilize and come to the aid of those in need at the moment when they needed it.”

But there is a lot of concern, sadness, shock and anger in the country, Ozel adds, “because things should have been and could have been handled much better.” The latest earthquakes also reignited existing fears about the situation in Istanbul and the state of preparation for the massive, long-awaited earthquake that according to seismologists will hit the city by 2030.

Listen to the conversation to understand the wider angle of accumulated traumas and multitude of future challenges in Turkey, which marks its centennial as a modern nation this coming October. Ozel shares his thoughts about the importance of nourishing memory and remembrance for the sake of reckoning and healing pain from the present and the past. It is available wherever you listen to your podcasts.


Wider Angle is produced and hosted by Riada Asimovic Akyol.



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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and www.paraanaliz.com and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.