President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli on March 12 went to the hit-quake southern Hatay’s Kırıkhan district. After visiting a tent city near the Kırıkhan Stadium, they held a rally at the stadium.
It has come to light that the Kırıhan governor's office instructed public servants in the district to attend this rally by sending them the message of “Mr. Governor instructs you to be at the Kırıkhan Stadium at 12.30 p.m.,” according to reporting by online news outlet Diken.
While addressing quake-hit citizens at the stadium, Erdoğan once again asked for their “forgiveness” over the government’s inadequate response in the aftermath of the Feb. 6-dated major earthquakes.
“We have sent to the region thousands of trucks to cover (citizens’) immediate food necessities…We have sent the ministers here immediately on the first day (of the quakes). Despite us showing every kind of effort, if you have still experienced problems, what falls upon us is to ask for your forgiveness (hellallik),” Erdoğan said on March 12.
Erdoğan had also asked for people’s "forgiveness" last month, leading to reactions among the public, with people instead demanding accountability.