TİP MP Atalay submits first parliamentary question from jail

TİP MP Can Atalay, who is still kept in prison despite being elected as a lawmaker, has submitted his first parliamentary motions. Atalay asked two ministers about the policies regarding the earthquake-hit provinces.

TİP lawmakers have left Atalay's photo in his parliamentary seat to protest his imprisonment

Duvar English

Opposition Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) lawmaker Can Atalay has submitted his first parliamentary questions from the jail. 

Atalay, lawyer by profession, was arrested on April 25, 2022 after being sentenced to 18 years in prison in the Gezi trial. Despite being elected as a lawmaker from the southern Hatay province in the May 14 elections and receiving parliamentary mandate, Atalay is still imprisoned.

Atalay submitted motions to Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya and Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Minister Mehmet Özhaseki regarding the earthquake-hit region. 

In the motion to Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya, Atalay said thousands of people who could have been rescued died due to state-run Disaster and Emergency Management Authority’s (AFAD) uncoordinated activities in the first forty-eight hours.

Atalay said the rubble removal operations could not have been finalized even after five months.

“Are the claims on social media true that a woman's dead body was found in Hatay on the 135th day of the earthquake during the rubble removal works? How many people claimed to be under the rubble and could not be found? How many people have been looking for their relatives for about five months because the work is not done urgently and adequately? How many people survived the rubble but died under treatment? How many deceased have not been identified? Has any investigation been launched to date regarding the authorities who caused the dysfunction of AFAD in the first 48 hours of the earthquake?,” Atalay asked Yerlikaya.

In his motion to Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Minister Mehmet Özhaseki, Atalay asked “Why are the necessary precautions not taken despite the warnings of environmental scientists and the public in the rubble removal areas in earthquake zones? Has the extent of environmental damage caused by rubble dump sites been investigated by your Ministry? What is the justification for the new zoning plans prepared without the participation of the people of the region?” 

Turkey’s southeastern region was struck by two major earthquakes on Feb. 6, one at a magnitude of 7.7 and the other at 7.6, leading to the death of more than 50,000 people according to official figures.