16/03/2023 | Writer: Selma Koçak

According to the fact sheet prepared by Romani Godi, discrimination against Roma earthquake survivors deepens. And Roma women, LGBTI+s, persons with disabilities and children have become completely invisible.

“Roma LGBTI+s have become completely invisible in the earthquake zone” Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Romani Godi (Roma Memory Studies Association) and Civil Dreams Association prepared a fact sheet on the effects of Kahramanmaraş earthquake on Roma groups.

The fact sheet prepared by Göktan Yıldırım with the subtitle “Are Things That Seem Equal Really Equal?” includes the following statements: “Although in the first days of the earthquake it seemed that all groups living in the earthquake zone were equally affected by the effects of the earthquake, in the following days it became more visible that the effects of the earthquake affected groups such as migrants, minorities (Roma groups, etc.). women, LGBTI+ persons, children and disabled people more deeply.”.

Prejudices and poverty deepen the inequality

According to the findings of the fact sheet, inequality became to a great depth due to stereotypical prejudices and superstitions targeting Roma groups, and the fact that they didn’t have any savings as result of the widespread poverty in the pre-earthquake period.

The visible reasons so far are listed as follows in the fact sheet:

* In the first week of the earthquake, Roma groups tended to hesitate to go to the tent cities that were established jointly in some settlements due to fear of discrimination.

* Roma, who are known to have a higher rate of poverty than other groups, have difficulties in evacuating themselves and their undamaged belongings to other cities in the earthquake zone or to less affected areas due to insufficient cash savings

* This creates a risk that Roma may be affected by a natural disaster over a longer period of time.

* Limited channels through which Roma can be informed about humanitarian aid and support provided to earthquake victims after the earthquake (limitations in the use of digital tools)

* In the post-earthquake period, social media platforms, especially 'Twitter', played a functional role in making their voices heard, but Roma were unable to make their voices heard by a wider audience due to limited access

Problems that are not even visible

On the other hand it is underlined that some problems could not have become even visible within the context of the fact sheet. Roma women, Roma LGBTI+s, Roma persons with disabilities and Roma children and thus their problems becoming completely invisible, are among the most important problems.

Romani Godi also emphasizes that they were informed about hate speech and discrimination against Roma earthquake survivors in Ankara, Adıyaman, Urfa, Mersin, Antalya and Muğla in access to temporary accommodation, humanitarian aid and public institutions. Reminding that the crimes such as theft, looting and etc. are associated with Roma identity, the fact sheet pays attention to the heaviness of hate speech targeting Roma children such as “Roma children disturb other people”.

Click to read the full text of the the report.

Tags: human rights