Report on the Experiences of Volunteer Motorcycle Delivery Workers in Earthquake Zone

On February 6, 2023, two earthquakes of magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 occurred nine hours apart, centered in Pazarcık, Kahramanmaraş. 11 cities of Turkey, which has 81 cities, were shaken. Millions of people mobilized in solidarity with the earthquake victims. People of all ages and from different occupational groups, such as miners, firefighters, doctors, and machine operators, acted without hesitation for the people and other living beings who were living in 717,614 collapsed and damaged buildings (This number was unknown at that time but learned from damage assessment reports later). More than six months have passed since the two February 6 earthquakes. Much has been written about the earthquake. And much more will be written.

Forgetting that indescribable pain may seem logical to many of us as it allows us to return to “normal life.” Yet while some of us came out from under the rubble, some of us reached out to those who came out of the ruins, some of us mobilized all our resources “from a distance,” we were all “exposed” to that great pain and despair. Leaving our helplessness to the influence of the narcosis of time and closing our ears to the hum of the faults moving under our feet means underestimating nature. Underestimating nature creates a heavy burden on our lives.

On February 7, we went to Hatay – one of the most affected cities – to participate in aid and solidarity activities. After 1.5 months of working in the region, we decided to conduct research with one of the professional groups mobilized in the earthquake: motorcycle delivery workers. Since then, we have conducted field research examining the experiences of motorcycle delivery workers who participated in search and rescue, aid, and solidarity activities in earthquake zones. We compiled their policy recommendations regarding possible earthquakes in the future.

We tried to reach all delivery worker groups whose collective travels we could identify and conducted semi-structured interviews with a total of 30 delivery workers from 15 cities, including some workers who had traveled to the region individually. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 21 delivery workers from Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Eskişehir, Adana, Mersin, Antalya, while online interviews were conducted with 9 delivery workers from Konya, Manisa, Balıkesir, Çanakkale, Düzce, Sakarya, Malatya.

Downloader PDF: Delivery-Workers-Experiences-in-the-Earthquake.PDF