President Erdogan Visits Earthquake Ravaged Province of Hatay, Turkey
President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, visited the province of Hatay on March 15, one of the most affected areas by the earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6. Hundreds of thousands of people across 10 provinces are still living in temporary accommodation according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.
President Erdogan and his government’s response to the natural disaster is now under investigation. Experts cite the lack of enforcement of earthquake-proof building regulations as one of the main reasons for the high number of fatalities in Hatay and surrounding areas.
The death toll from the earthquake currently stands at 48,000 in Turkey with at least 6,000 other casualties reported in Syria. The region suffered numerous aftershocks during the month of February that further aggravated the damage.
International Donor Conference to Help Turkey and Syria
To raise funds for the reconstruction of earthquake-affected areas in Turkey and Syria, an international donor conference has been scheduled for March 16 in Brussels. The European Commission has invited all EU member countries, UN members and any other countries willing to provide support to the initiative.
The World Bank estimates that the damages caused by the February 6 earthquake amount to more than 30 billion euros. The donated funds will mainly be used for sustainable rebuilding of affected areas with a focus on earthquake-resistant infrastructure, provision of shelter, and medical assistance for those injured by the disaster.
The international community has expressed its solidarity with the people of Turkey and Syria during this difficult time and is committed to assisting them in their efforts to recover and rebuild.