Turkish president acknowledges 'shortcomings' in quake response: Report
Turkey earthquake: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has already declared a 90-day emergency across ten provinces of the country, visited the earthquake epicentre Kahramanmaras and responded to the criticism faced by his government.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has acknowledged there were ‘shortcomings’ in response to the earthquake which has left 9,057 dead in his country, AFP reported.
“Of course, there are shortcomings. The conditions are clear to see. It's not possible to be ready for a disaster like this”, he said, adding that claims of security forces not present on the ground is not right.
"This is a time for unity, solidarity. In a period like this, I cannot stomach people conducting negative campaigns for political interest," he told reporters.
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Erdogan, who has already declared a 90-day emergency across ten provinces of the country, visited the earthquake epicentre Kahramanmaras and responded to the criticism faced by his government.
"Initially there were issues at airports and on the roads, but today things are getting easier and tomorrow it will be easier still," AFP quoted the Turkish president. Earlier, Bloomberg reported that access to Twitter was restricted as Erdogan began his visit to the earthquake-affected areas.
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Despite facing backlash over what his critics call the government's ‘slow’ response to the worst earthquake in Turkey since 1939, Erdogan is working on plans to hold the general elections in May after the emergency due to quake is lifted.
According to the Bloomberg report, the Turkish leader called several of his political rivals except the head of the main opposition Republican People's Party, who said the country was ill-prepared and blamed Erdogan personally.
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“I refuse to look at what is happening as above politics and align with the ruling party. This collapse is exactly the result of systematic profiteering politics”, Kemal Kilicdaroglu had said.
The Turks have complained of lack of equipment and support as they await the rescue of their near and dear ones who are trapped under the debris.
"Where is the state? Where have they been for two days? We are begging them. Let us do it, we can get them out," said Sabiha Alinak, near a snow covered collapsed building where her young relatives were trapped in the city of Malatya.
(With agencies inputs)