Over 35,000 people are known to have lost their lives as a result of the two earthquakes that hit south-eastern Turkey on the morning of 6th February, with many more expected to be confirmed in the coming days. The earthquakes represent a tragic natural disaster, and would have devastated any country. For many in Turkey in particular, the growing death toll, the incredible damage and the shocking lack of aid reaching many places cannot be explained by the scale of the disaster alone.
Questions are increasingly being raised about the lack of disaster preparation and crisis planning, and about the impact of government decisions in the political context of an upcoming election. This event will provide an insight into what is happening both on the ground in the region where the earthquakes hit, what it means for the wider world, and how we can help.
Ece Temelkuran is an award-winning Turkish novelist, a political thinker, and a public speaker whose work has appeared in the Guardian, New York Times, Le Monde, La Stampa, New Statesman, and Der Spiegel, among several international media outlets. She won the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book award for her novel Women Who Blow On Knots and the Ambassador Of New Europe Award for her book Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed book How to Lose a Country. Together: A Manifesto Against the Heartless World, her latest book has been published in several languages. Ece Temelkuran lived in Beirut, Tunis, and Paris, to write her novels. She was a visiting fellow at Saint Anthony’s College Oxford to write Deep Mountain: Across The Armenian Turkish Divide. For the last six years, she has lived in Zagreb. Currently, she is a fellow at The New Institute, Hamburg, working on a project “A New Vocabulary for 21st Century Progressives”. She is on the advisory board of Progressive International and Democracy Next.
Razia Iqbal is an anchor of Newshour on the BBC World Service, the current affairs program with 12.5 million listeners in the U.S. and millions more elsewhere. For the last three decades she has reported from around the world, including as a special correspondent for BBC TV. Iqbal has presented the in-depth interview series Witness History, Talking Books and Dream Builders as well as documentaries for both radio and TV. She is a frequent moderator at political and literary events.