Nobody should doubt that Türkiye has mobilized all state and national means for the earthquake-stricken provinces in its southeast despite the vast expanse and the scale of the destruction, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday from the Samandağ district of Hatay, the city worse hit by the Feb. 6 disaster.
“We have mobilized our military, police, gendarmerie, health care professionals, educators, personnel of all relevant institutions and all our vehicles, from aircraft to helicopters and ships, for our earthquake victims,” he said.
He added that no other country could respond faster than Türkiye in the face of such a disaster, in which the death toll reached 48,000, the injured exceeded 115,000, and 50,000 buildings were destroyed.
He said the government plans to complete the construction of the “urgently needed 244,000 houses and 75,000 village houses within a year” in Hatay.
“So far, we have set up 426,000 tents in the earthquake zone, and we plan to serve 100,000 containers within two months,” Erdoğan said earlier in Kırıkhan, a district in Hatay.
He assured his government would take the necessary steps “the first chance it gets” to ensure challenges that hindered earthquake response in the past will never repeat.
Later on Sunday, Erdoğan toured the Qatar-Türkiye Brotherhood Container City in Hatay, which was established with containers sent by Qatar.
Qatar promised to send 10,000 containers, and they are being delivered gradually. While 1,000 containers have arrived, 4,000 others are on the way. The number of containers sent to the region will reach 10,000 within a month.
Expressing satisfaction at seeing solidarity from “Türkiye’s friends around the world” starting from the first moment of the earthquakes, Erdoğan said that Qatar, “as always,” showed its generosity in the wake of last month’s earthquakes and provided significant financial aid to Türkiye.
“In the meantime, we started the construction of permanent residences. Hopefully, we will meet the urgent need by completing the construction of 244,000 houses and 75,000 village houses within a year,” he said, adding: “We will see all our promises fulfilled when we meet again for the delivery of permanent residences.”
Around half a million people, including public officials, volunteers and members of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), rushed to the quake-hit region to provide help.
More than 47,900 people were killed in Türkiye in the quakes on Feb. 6, according to official figures, and over 13 million people have been affected.