Europe

Turkish media call for unity following quake

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Media captionThe BBC's Tim Willcox has been in one of the worst affected town's Ercis

Sunday's earthquake in south-eastern Turkey has prompted some newspaper commentators to urge the nation to seize the moment to embrace reconciliation between ethnic Turks and Kurds.

Turkey's long-running conflict with the Kurdish insurgent PKK has escalated in recent months, with a rash of deadly attacks against the army prompting it to pursue the rebels into northern Iraq.

Some commentators also criticise inadequate controls over building standards after the quake, near the city of Van, which caused many buildings to collapse and killed hundreds of people.

One paper highlights some improvements that have been made in Turkey's ability to deal with such catastrophes since the 1999 earthquakes in north-western Turkey, which together killed more than 17,000 people.

At least one writer warns of the certainty of a quake eventually hitting the country's biggest city Istanbul, where the death toll would likely be considerably higher than in Van.

Bulent Korucu in Zaman

The earthquake has shown once again that we can unite. The aid sent from every corner of the country cures first of all the wounds of the heart before curing the wounds in the arm. It cures both the senders and receivers.

Mehmet Ali Birand in Posta

Now we should extend our helping hand. Now we should embrace them [Kurdish citizens living in Van and vicinity] with compassion. We should show Turkish-Kurdish solidarity in times of trouble. We should act right now if we want to win the hearts of our brothers of Kurdish origin. We should defeat the PKK through this approach - this would be much more effective than weapons.

Taha Akyol in Hurriyet

Poor construction still seems to be our weakness. Buildings collapsed like houses of cards… The contractors who build them, the municipal officials who issue licences and the controlling engineers who sign them should be found, exposed and tried as a deterrent to others.

Mahmut Ovur in Sabah

The pain is the same for every earthquake. Much of our country lies on fault lines and unfortunately we do not do anything about it.

Gungor Mengi in Vatan

Scientists discuss the earthquake in Van, but they do not discuss the certainty that Istanbul will be hit by an earthquake. It could happen any moment now, or in 50 years. The sooner we act the more lives we will save.

Murat Yetkin in Radikal

We know from the Van earthquake that our institutional infrastructure has improved - but that the human factor is still a problem in terms of controls and the implementation of rules. This has caused a lot of deaths.

Fehmi Koru in Star

No matter how many precautions we take, we are unprotected against nature. We understand how weak and unprotected human beings are and how delicate the line between life and death is when nature revolts against us. Natural catastrophes also make us equal as they do not distinguish between the rich and the poor or the Turk and the Kurd.

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