HDP co-chair Buldan calls on Erdoğan to resign over earthquake response

HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan has called on President Erdoğan to resign over the government’s response to last week’s major earthquakes and attempts to prevent volunteer groups’ aid efforts.

Duvar English

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Pervin Buldan has called on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to resign over his government’s failure to respond adequately to last week’s earthquakes in southeastern Turkey.

“Those who should have resigned today are shaking their fingers to those helping (with aid efforts). Those who should have resigned are interfering with those trying to deliver aid. If this rulership had just a bit of conscience, all of them including the President should have resigned two days after (the earthquakes). But none of them has the courage nor conscience to do so,” she said on Feb. 16 during her visit to Gaziantep, one of the 10 southern provinces severely affected by the Feb. 6-dated major earthquakes.

According to reporting by Mezopotamya News Agency, Buldan said that the official death record does not reflect the truth as thousands of bodies are still under the rubble.

In reference to the government’s targeting of charity AHBAP and HDP aid efforts, Buldan said: “We have been seeing that the rulership of AKP-MHP (Nationalist Movement Party), which was nowhere in the first 2-3 days (after the earthquakes) has been recently preventing the aid efforts and stopping NGOs and volunteers, especially those of the HDP.”  

“While we have been helping people, trying to go to (victims) people, we have faced the prevention of the rulership…It is our duty to send the AKP-MHP government,” she said.

From the first day onwards, the AKP-MHP coalition has been trying to monopolize aid distribution in the hands of the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has even publicly targeted AHBAP association, calling the group “scammers” and calling on people to make donations to instead AFAD.

Millions of liras have been donated to AHBAP instead of the state-run AFAD amid corruption concerns, with people saying that they do not know how their money will be spent in the latter.

Additionally, the government has been preventing the aid efforts initiated by the HDP, with a district governor's office in the southeastern Kahramanmaraş province even taking over the party's aid coordination center on Feb. 15.

Last week, the police seized an aid truck sent by the HDP from the Aegean province of İzmir to the earthquake-stricken Osmaniye province for the earthquake victims.