June 15, 2024

MOON Desk: Turkiye’s president on Monday promised not to allow major changes to the fabric of the country’s southern regions amid efforts to rebuild from the devastation caused by twin earthquakes earlier this month.

“We cannot ignore structural changes to our (quake-hit) cities, where we’ve been living in brotherhood and which have been home to civilizations for thousands of years,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a press briefing on a visit to Adiyaman, one of the provinces badly hit by the earthquakes.

Calling on local residents, Erdogan said: “Protect your city. Never permanently abandon your motherland. We will provide you with better, more beautiful, safer, newer homes for every one that collapsed.”

Pledging that his government will take the necessary steps to prepare cities for future disasters, Erdogan said construction would not be allowed in areas near fault lines or prone to soil liquefaction during earthquakes. He also ruled out high-rise buildings in old settlements.

Repeating his promise to mend the damage caused by the earthquakes within the span of a year, he said: “We will do whatever it takes to prepare our cities for disasters, starting from speeding up urban transformation projects as soon as possible.”

Erdogan noted that the government was “doing whatever is necessary,” with soil surveys already complete at sites where a total of 309,000 new homes are to be built and construction ready to begin.

“We will construct nearly 50,000 homes in Adiyaman. We will start to break ground and construct where micro zonation and geological survey have been finalized,” he said.

The Turkish president also apologized for search, rescue, and relief efforts that had not been carried out as effectively as desired in the first days of the earthquake due to the destructive effect of the shocks and adverse weather.

At least 44,374 people have died due to those back-to-back earthquakes of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6.

Their epicenter was in Kahramanmaras province, Malatya’s southwestern neighbor, and struck nine other Turkish provinces – Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kilis, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa. More than 13 million people have been affected by the devastating quakes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *