Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday that each family affected by Monday’s earthquakes in the south of the country, near the Syrian border, will receive 10,000 Turkish Liras (about 500 euros), and said Ankara will launch “massive housing operations” in the ten affected provinces.

Erdogan, who has traveled during the day to the province of Kahramanmaras, epicenter of the earthquakes, to inspect the search and rescue work and meet with some of the victims, has stressed that the activities to build housing will take place “as happened in other provinces where there were disasters,” as reported by the Turkish state news agency, Anatolia.

“Our citizens should not worry. We will never allow them to stay on the streets,” he said, before stressing that victims can stay for now in several hotels in the provinces of Antalya, Anlanya and Mersin. “We have a significant capacity of rooms (in hotels). If our citizens do not want to stay here in tents, we will find accommodation for them in hotels,” he promised.

Thus, he has stressed that “they will be given free accommodation, food and other things there.” “You can help us (to accommodate part of the victims in these hotels). Our work will be accelerated,” he explained, a day after declaring a state of emergency for three months in the ten affected provinces to try to increase the search operations and subsequent reconstruction.

On the other hand, he called for “unity and solidarity” and asked the population to ignore the “provocateurs”, in reference to the alleged false news about the earthquakes, as reported by the Turkish newspaper ‘Daily Sabah’. “I want our journalists not to allow it,” he has stressed, on the publication of possible disinformation.

The president has also stressed that the authorities “have mobilized all resources” to deal with the consequences of the earthquakes, which have left more than 8,500 dead and nearly 50,000 injured in Turkish territory. According to official data, more than thirteen million people have been affected by the earthquakes, which have also caused the collapse of almost 6,500 buildings.

For its part, the earthquake has left 1,262 dead and 2,285 wounded in the areas of Syria controlled by the authorities, according to data from the Syrian Ministry of Health, to which must be added more than 1,280 dead and 2,600 wounded in the areas controlled by the rebels in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo (northwest), according to the Syrian Civil Defense, known as ‘white helmets’, through its Twitter account.


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