At 4:17 a.m. on Tuesday, thousands of people in cities across southern Turkey gathered to cry, light candles and chant against the government, marking the moment a year ago that a powerful earthquake devastated the region.
The 7.8-magnitude quake, followed by a second violent tremor hours later, damaged or destroyed hundreds of thousands of buildings, killing more than 53,000 people in southern Turkey and another 6,000 people in northern Syria. It was the area’s broadest and deadliest earthquake in hundreds of years.
The scale of the destruction, and the failure of emergency services to reach many people buried in the rubble until days later, angered survivors. Many accused building contractors of cutting corners to increase their profits and the government of failing to enforce safe building standards.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised in the disaster’s aftermath to build large numbers of new homes in a year. That vow remains only partly fulfilled, and efforts to hold people accountable over faulty constructions are proceeding slowly.
Many survivors are still displaced, grieving for lost loved ones and struggling with long-term injuries.
A look at southern Turkey, one year after the earthquake:
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