Turkey: Earthquake spurs prisoners struggle against “disposable” status

Turkish prisoners riot following aftershock, quake death toll now 432

26 October 2011

After a particularly strong aftershock rattled Turkey, terrified Turkish prisoners rioted after authorities refused to let them out.

Prisoners in the eastern city of Van set bedding on fire and security forces surrounded the prison to prevent any further escape attempts.

The aftershock comes on the heels of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that devastated Turkey on Sunday. In Sunday’s chaos, some prisoners had managed to escape.

According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Administration, the death toll now stands at 432 with more than 1,350 injured.

Rescue teams are still scouring the rubble for trapped individuals and officials believe that the number of fatalities could be greater than 1,000.

Thousands of families have been displaced and are now struggling to stay warm as they sleep outdoors in freezing conditions in the cities of Van and Ercis. Emergency responders are struggling to provide survivors with tents, blankets, and other basic items.

So far authorities believe Sunday’s earthquake is the most powerful to rock the country since 1999, when the earthquake-prone was struck by monstrous tremors that killed more than 20,000 people.

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