Flood-struck areas of Black Sea region to be declared disaster area
Parts of Turkey’s Black Sea region hit by flooding and landslides will be officially declared a disaster area, the nation’s president said on July 17.
Speaking at a hospital opening and inaugurations of other newly completed projects in Turkey’s eastern Erzurum province, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the formal declaration will be announced after the next Cabinet meeting, likely at the start of next week.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said downpours hit northeastern Rize on Wednesday after landslides caused heavy damage in some areas, with a building destroyed in the village of Muradiye.
At least six people died, with two people missing, in flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rain.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu came to the region to assess the situation along with Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu and Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum.
Around 5 million Turkish liras ($582,000) will be sent to the region to help recovery efforts.
‘Investing throughout Turkey’
Also speaking on investments in eastern Turkey, Erdoğan said the current market value of today’s inaugurated investments reached a total of 9.5 billion Turkish liras ($1.11 billion).
“We will continue to embrace the full breadth of Turkey, from Erzurum, Diyarbakır, Hatay, and Trabzon to Antalya, Tekirdağ, Van, and Bursa, and introduce projects and services to every inch of our homeland," said Erdoğan, referring to provinces throughout Turkey.
“We do this because we love this country with all its colors. Because we love this nation with all its people. Because we have taken on the responsibility to build a great and strong Turkey through the bridge we built from the past to the future,” he added.
Erdogan said the determination, unity, and solidarity of the people of Erzurum remained firm and steady despite 40 years of PKK terrorist efforts against it.
“Erzurum is one of our cities that showed the most determined stance against the tricks, hypocrisy, and frauds of FETÖ” – the terrorist group behind the defeated 2016 coup, whose fifth anniversary was marked this week – Erdoğan added.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader, Fetullah Gülen, orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 wounded.
Ankara also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.