Survivors of the recent earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş, Turkey have been hosted in student dormitories in Kırıkkale. Around 500 of the survivors have been transported back to their hometowns by buses arranged by the governorship, at no cost to themselves, to vote in the Presidential and Parliamentary General Elections. Additionally, 740 survivors were able to travel back to their hometowns by private vehicle with their expenses covered by AFAD (Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority). Those who wish to return to Kırıkkale from the earthquake zone are advised to contact AFAD.
One survivor, Arif İspir from Kahramanmaraş, stated he would return to Kırıkkale after voting. Meanwhile, Ufuk Alabaş from Malatya who now lives in Kırıkkale after the earthquakes, will use the opportunity to vote in his hometown with the support of the state, and Hatice Grape also plans to visit relatives in her hometown after voting.
Arzu Tekgöz, who has been living in Kırıkkale with her family for the past 1.5 months, plans to vote in Hatay. Hatice Alkaç expressed her gratitude to the people of Kırıkkale and stated that she and others will be returning after voting in Hatay.
It is heartening to see the efforts made by authorities to ensure that everyone, including those affected by natural disasters, have the opportunity to participate in the democratic process. Free transportation and the covering of travel expenses undoubtedly will make a difference for those who want to exercise their right to vote.