'We have no hope': Discontent grows over slow response to Turkey earthquakes

Some survivors fear it'll take up to 15 years to rebuild their neighbourhoods, while one man angrily told how his village waited 10 days for the government to respond. ITV News' Sejal Karia reports.

In the mountainous region of southeastern Turkey, the city of Adiyaman has been decimated by the earthquakes that began three weeks ago.

Two hundred and seventy thousand people once lived here. It's thought 10% of the population perished.

Amid a wasteland strewn with bricks, steel and rubble, the city's clocktower is among a scattering of buildings that stand unscathed.

Its hands frozen - at 0417 - the time the first earthquake hit. It is surrounded, though, by destruction.

Buildings broken or reduced to ruin, others listing like shipwrecks in a sea of rubble - Suburbs that are now cemeteries, where many of the dead are yet to be recovered.

The hands of the city's clocktower are frozen at 0417 - the time the first earthquake hit. Credit: ITV

Among the debris, in a car park that has been turned into a small, tented village, I met Ayfer and her family.

Her husband and three children survived the collapse of their apartment block but have been left destitute.

Facing an uncertain future living in a tent while mourning the loss of relatives who were not so fortunate. Ayfer told me, it took four days to recover their bodies and six days for her family to receive a tent. They lived in their car for almost a week.

Aid and rescue teams, she said, were nowhere to be seen in the first few days after the earthquake hit.

She's sceptical of President Erdogan's pledge to rebuild ruined cities like Adiyaman within a year.

In Istanbul, fans of the local football team Besiktas threw thousands of soft toys onto the pitch. Credit: ITV

"It'll be just the same as now so probably help will be cut or stopped," she told me as we sipped tea.

"We will sit, and we'll take care of ourselves I don't think the government will help us there are so many people, so many cities.

"It is going to take 10 to 15 years to rebuild this area alone...we have no hope."

Those that can afford to, are leaving the city - Some even hiring tall cranes at huge expense to salvage belongings from their high-rise apartments.

Those left behind are dependent on aid camps for basic needs.

At one, where dozens were lining up for food, one man told me he believed the authorities and the government were doing everything necessary to help.

Hope has turned to anger for many survivors living in Turkey. Credit: ITV News

"From the authorities we are going to receive container houses soon we have been in tents for 10 to 15 days. I think within one to three months they will start building container houses", he said.

"There will be job opportunities."

When another man queuing interjected to furiously disagree.

"Nobody arrived at my village for 14 days. We were three families but no tent. I applied for a tent at 10 different places", he said.

"Where is the justice, where is the government?"

Amid this mounting anger, President Erdogan visited Adiyaman today, asking the people for forgiveness for the initial slow response, blaming the tremors and bad weather.

Discontent is growing among survivors over the speed of response to the earthquakes. Credit: ITV

But discontent is spreading, as the president faces elections in May.

In Istanbul, fans of the local football team Besiktas threw thousands of soft toys onto the pitch during their match for children affected by the earthquake, accompanied by chants of "government resign".

Back in Adiyaman, I met an elderly man who is not waiting for the government to rebuild his home.

We found him salvaging what he could from his crumbling apartment and loading up his tractor to leave.

"I am moving to a village 35km away", he said, "where there is no electricity or running water, but I feel safer there."

What he's leaving behind is a crumbled city - where hope for the future is all but gone.

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