President praises disaster aid ageny
AA PhotoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has praised efforts by Turkey’s disaster agency, the Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD), for Syrian refugees while also slamming opposition parties.
“Do not take serious those who say that hosting our Syrian and Iraqi brothers as guests in our country is treason,” said Erdoğan in Ankara yesterday while addressing attendees at the opening ceremony for 22 AFAD logistics depots.
“Do not take serious who say that they will send Syrians back to their country when elected prime minister,” Erdoğan said in an open reference to comments by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
Kılıçdaroğlu told his party deputies on Feb. 10 in parliament that when his CHP comes to power, he will bring peace to Syria and Iraq and tell refugees to go back to their countries, after which they will continue to receive Turkey’s support.
Turkey has received around 1.7 million Syrian refugees since the start of the civil war in the neighboring country. As hundreds of thousands of them take shelter in camps, the majority try to earn a living in cities across the country.
Erdoğan said those who did not understand the conditions of the refugees could never come to power.
The new facilities would provide AFAD the chance to help all victims of disasters or emergencies across the country.
“Turkey, which was trapped under the debris of the 1999 Düzce earthquake, is now capable of intervening in all disasters and crises at home and across the world,” he said.
The 1999 quake in northwestern Turkey with a 7.4 magnitude resulted in the deaths of 18,000 people.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002. Erdoğan recalled that many state bodies were brought together under AFAD’s umbrella in 2009.