The resident written about in the article is typical of many here in Turkey. The people are angry. And their anger is directed at the government. Few Turks doubt that political patronage and corruption was one of the main reasons for the high death toll. For years politicians have tolerated the construction of sub-standard housing in return for financial or political support. Government officials estimate that 91 percent of the housing in Turkey have defects in either design or materials.
Public faith in the government has been further undermined by the government's failure to tolerate criticism. A government decision to shut down a television station for a week for its "negative reporting" of the earthquake was one example.
The government has been widely criticized for its inadequate response to the disaster. The prime minister has insisted that damage to roads and bridges prevented government rescue teams from reaching the impacted areas. But foreign rescue teams and thousands of Turkish volunteers carrying food and supplies managed to find a way through.
The health minister—Osman Durmus—announced that foreign medical personnel should be barred from entering the country because they are "incompatible with our culture". He further went on to accuse the crack volunteer Turkish Search and Rescue Association of "staging a show". In response a headline in one usually restarined Turkish daily screamed "Just shut up and resign".
For a people who have traditionally been in awe of the power of the state, there is a sense that a taboo has been broken. As newspaper columnist Mehmet Yilmaz put it, "The smell of the decaying state system in Turkey rises from the earthquake region as strongly as the stench of the corpses."