Turkey on Feb. 3 handed over keys to newly-completed homes to some of those left homeless after last year's devastating earthquake, one year after the country's deadliest disaster in its modern history.
Powerful quakes on Feb. 6, 2023 in southern Turkey killed more than 53,500 people in 11 provinces and left millions homeless.
"Today, we are delivering 7,275 houses in Hatay... We will gradually deliver 40,000 houses throughout the region as soon as their construction is completed," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during a ceremony in Hatay, the province worst-hit by the earthquakes.
The number of severely damaged and demolished houses in Hatay was 215,255. The number of houses handed over in the ceremony on Feb. 3 was only one-fifth of the number of demolished houses in the province.
A total of 75,000 houses would be delivered in the earthquake zone with the ones handed over within the next two months, Urbanization Minister Mehmet Özhaseki said. The officials added that the government planned to deliver a total of 200,000 houses this year.
After the earthquakes, President Erdoğan promised 319,000 new homes by February 2024 and a total 680,000 a year later. Özhaseki's calculation did not even reach one-fifth of the government's promises.
Around 680,000 homes were destroyed in the earthquake region, Özhaseki told reporters on Feb. 3, adding that 390,000 families are registered to receive houses to be built there.
"Tenders for 200,000 apartments were completed, and construction of some of them is going on. Some were finished and deliveries will be made soon. The tender process for approximately 100,000 apartments continues," he said.