the Turkish government has placed the town of Golcuk in quarantine to guard against the spread of diseases following the devastating earthquake in the second week of August. The naval base in the town was also sealed.
Only those with special passes were allowed to travel in or out of the town, which has a population of about 80,000 and was one of the worst hit areas. This move, together with attempts to speed up the rescue operation throughout the heavily populated earthquake zone, came as the government responded to criticism of the handling of the crisis and promised measures to prevent a repeat of the disaster. The toll figures stood at 40,000 with more than 33,000 injured.
Experts for years warned about a severe earthquake in the industrial town of Izmit, east of Istanbul and in the surrounding areas. The fact that officials did not pass on the warnings and made no contingency plans is likely to have political repercussions not only for the three-party coalition but also for the entire political system and the ruling elite.
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