Erdoğan vows to protect demographic structure of quake-hit city
The government will protect the demographic structure and historical identity of the earthquake-hit Gaziantep, in the southeastern Anatolian province, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, repeating his vow to reconstruct tens of thousands of houses in the area within a year.
“We will revive Gaziantep in a stronger manner by protecting its historical identity and demographic structure. We will not only heal the wounds in our cities, which for thousands of years housed great civilizations, but also build an infrastructure, which will ensure that our citizens look to the future with confidence for centuries to come,” Erdoğan said during his visit to the city late on Feb. 21.
He was accompanied by Chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli and other senior government officials. His tour included the Nurdağı and İslahiye districts of Gaziantep which was heavily hit by the devastating earthquakes of Feb. 6.
Erdoğan and Bahçeli visited the center of the Emergency and Disaster Management Agency (AFAD), and met the earthquake survivors who have been settled in the tent cities in Gaziantep.
“We will start the construction of 200,000 houses with 18,544 of them in Gaziantep in the next month. We will also allocate 9,130 village houses with their yard and barn built in original architecture,” the president stated.
Recalling that his governments speedily healed the wounds of the survivors of past earthquakes in Van, Bingöl, Elazığ and İzmir and reconstructed new and strong houses, Erdoğan said “Now, this government will swiftly overcome the difficulties in these 11 provinces [hit by the earthquakes].”
“I am of the belief that we will relieve our country by getting united in the face of this disaster,” he added.
The government has already built tent cities in which more than 800,000 people are settled and container cities for the survivors of the earthquakes in which more than 40,000 people were killed.