Gov't dismissing questions on emergency plan in case of major quake on Eastern Anatolian Fault Line
For the last three years, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has been refusing to answer a parliamentary question inquiring about the measures taken in case of a major earthquake that might occur on the Eastern Anatolian Fault Line. In the face of the two major quakes that hit southeastern Turkey on Feb. 6, it has come to light that HDP MP Dilşat Canbaz Kaya in 2020 inquired about the ministry's “emergency plan for an earthquake that is likely to happen” in the region.
Nur Kaplan / Gazete Duvar
It has turned out that Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has previously failed to answer three parliamentary questions inquiring about the government’s plans in case of an earthquake that might occur on the Eastern Anatolian Fault Line.
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Dilşat Canbaz Kaya in 2020 submitted three parliamentary motions asking Soylu if authorities had inspected the building standards of the structures on the Eastern Anatolian Fault Line in the southeastern Gaziantep, Antakya and Kahramanmaraş provinces and the number of such structures.
In her parliamentary motion, Kaya recalled that experts have been warning against a powerful earthquake in the region, especially in the aftermath of the 2020 Elazığ Sivrice earthquake. “For how many of the inspected buildings did the authorities give a decision to be demolished once they were found to be not durable for a (potential) quake?” Kaya asked, also inquiring about the Interior Ministry’s “emergency plan for an earthquake that is likely to happen” in the region.
All of the three motions had been left unanswered by Soylu.
In new remarks, Kaya said that the government failed to take any action for a disaster for which experts have been long issuing a warning. “The reason why they (government ministers) have not been answering the parliamentary motions is out there in the open now,” she said, adding that Turkey might yet face a similar picture in the future with a potential earthquake in the Marmara region.
An earthquake at a magnitude of 7.7 struck Kahramanmaraş's Pazarcık district on Feb. 6 at 4:17 a.m. local time. The second earthquake came at a magnitude of 7.6 struck Kahramanmaraş's Elbistan district at 1.24 p.m. local time on the same day.
(English version by Didem Atakan)