Opposition alliance to establish a joint commission on earthquake

Opposition alliance to establish a joint commission on earthquake

Opposition alliance to establish a joint commission on earthquake

The six-party opposition Nation Alliance has accused the government of deepening the crisis in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes by restricting the flow of information and excluding the efforts of the opposition municipalities and civil society to help survivors.

The leaders of the six parties held their first meeting following the earthquakes of Feb. 6 that claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people in 11 provinces in the Southeastern Anatolian Region. Temel Karamollaoğlu of the Felicity Party hosted a meeting, which was devoted specifically to the earthquake and what policies the Nation Alliance will jointly implement to reconstruct the damaged cities.

“It’s crystal clear that no necessary preparations were made and no measures were sufficiently taken in our earthquake-prone country,” read the joint statement issued after the meeting.

The institutional capacity of the AFAD, emergency and crisis management agency, has been weakened, and its top positions were filled with incompetent political appointees, the opposition claimed, blaming the executive-presidential system for the main source of the shortcomings and delays in responding to the post-quake disaster.

“Unfortunately, discrimination was observed between municipalities and civil society, and there were delays in including them in the relief process. Polarizing rhetoric was not abandoned, and the pace of the [post-quake] works has been slowed down, as all the decisions were taken from only one center,” it said.

Restrictions on the use of social media and allowing the stock exchange to continue to operate after the earthquake created unrepairable consequences and deepened the crisis, the opposition stressed.

“As the Nation Alliance, we are aware of the heavy responsibility on our shoulders. Now, a difficult challenge awaits us. By learning lessons from this disaster, we have to build our cities and our future with a common mind,” read the statement.

The six parties will establish a joint commission to study short, medium and long-term implications of the disaster and what needs to be done for the recovery, it added.

Leaders also thanked the international community for sending search and rescue teams and delivering humanitarian aid to Türkiye immediately after the earthquakes.

The next meeting of the leaders will take place on March 2, again at the headquarters of the Felicity Party. The statement did not mention the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections and the joint candidate of the opposition.

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