Erdoğan refers to thousands of earthquake victims as ‘martyrs’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has referred to the thousands of victims of the two major earthquakes as “martyrs” as the death toll is nearing 20,000. He also said that the rebuilding of the quake-stricken cities will not only require the financial support of the Treasury but also “the nation and whole world."
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has referred to the thousands of people who lost their lives in the two major earthquakes in southeastern Turkey as “martyrs.”
“The number of people who lost their lives in the quakes has reached 18,991. We know that according to our belief, those who have died in such disasters have reached martyrdom,” Erdoğan said on Feb. 10, while visiting the quake-stricken province of Adıyaman.
He said that he instructed the Urbanization Ministry and relevant authorities to have all of the demolished buildings renewed “in one year.” “We have a decision of (re)building all of these structures in one year. We have given the necessary instructions to our minister, to the relevant units with regards to this issue,” Erdoğan said.
He said that the rebuilding of the quake-stricken cities will not only require the financial support of the Treasury but also “the nation and whole world.” “I have no doubt that anyone with a great heart will stand by the state in this process with the contribution they will make as much as their (financial) means allow.”
He once again renewed his stern warning against people reported to be robbing markets and “opportunists wanting to turn this pain into political plunder.” “When our nation is groaning under earthquake wreckage, we will not allow those plundering or opportunities wanting to turn this pain into political plunder.”
Erdoğan’s comments came a day after he said that there are people “turning the process into a political abuse” and that the new state of emergency declared for the 10 provinces would stop them.
Turkey’s southeastern region has been struck by two powerful earthquakes on Feb. 6, one at a magnitude of 7.7 and the other 7.6. Hundreds of thousands more people have been left homeless and short of food in bleak winter conditions, desperate for a multi-national relief effort to alleviate their suffering.