Turkey’s southeast exodus after earthquake puts manufacturing at risk

Displaced people walk outside tents at a camp for earthquake survivors at KSU Avsar university campus in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Kahramanmaras, Thursday. [Reuters]

Mehmet Alkan, a shoe-sole manufacturer in Turkey's earthquake-hit south, doesn't know what will become of his company after some of his 220 employees died and half fled, reflecting the difficult transformation ahead for industry in the region.

Forty of his workers and some families sheltered for a while in the undamaged Alkan Taban factory in Antakya after the massive quakes on February 6.

"We only have 110 workers after some died and others left the city, so production capacity dropped," said Alkan, the manager.

Turkey's deadliest disaster in modern history struck a region rich in textile production and agriculture that accounts for 16% of total employment and around 11% of industrial production, a report by the Istanbul Chamber of Industry showed.

It forced millions to leave 11 southeastern provinces that were home to some 14 million people. Some say...

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