Opposition leader: Unidentified bodies not counted in official fatalities
Speaking in the quake-stricken province of Hatay, Turkish opposition DEVA Party leader Ali Babacan has said that unidentified bodies are not included in the official death toll figures in major earthquakes. “Sadly, the toll will further increase,” Babacan noted.
Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) leader and former deputy prime minister Ali Babacan on Feb. 8 said that unidentified bodies are not included in the official death toll figures in major earthquakes that struck Turkey’s southeastern region.
Speaking in the quake-stricken province of Hatay, Babacan said “sadly, the toll will further increase.”
As of Feb. 9, the death toll from devastating earthquakes has risen to 16,170, more than 64,194 people were injured, and 6,444 buildings collapsed as a result.
“There is a rescue activity in maybe one of the 100 collapsed buildings. People are waiting helplessly,” Babacan said.
Babacan stated “it is urgently necessary to rapidly increase the number of mobile base stations” as rescue teams and survivors in quake-hit provinces are struggling with communication problems.
He also criticized the state’s response to quakes and said its “disaster management capacity is very weak. Hatay’s Antakya district is now facing a disaster that is much more serious than what you see on television and phone screens.”
“Yes, public institutions are making an effort, but unfortunately, the capacity of them to coordinate this is not enough in the face of the great need and the great aid effort of our citizens,” he added.
On the other hand, he said the government should not abuse the state of emergency period “to restrict fundamental rights and freedoms or to restrict freedom of expression and communication.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 7 declared a state of emergency for three months in 10 southeastern provinces hit by two major earthquakes.