Turkey to swiftly reconstruct disaster-hit regions: Erdoğan
“With God’s help, we will overcome these disasters. We will do our best as a state, and hopefully, we will rise from our ashes. This state has never collapsed, we will not collapse again, and we will try to eliminate all grievances as soon as possible,” he said.
“Like many parts of the world, our country has been struggling with natural disasters for a while. This is not happening only in our country but also in the U.S., Canada and many European countries. Our hope is that we can overcome these disasters with the least damage while dealing with them,” Erdoğan stated.
He recalled that heavy rains caused severe floods and mudslides in Kastamonu, Bartın and Sinop provinces and noted that the Bozkurt, Azdavay, İnebolu, Küre and Pınarbaşı districts in Kastamonu were places most affected by these torrential rains. Some villages of Bartın’s Ulus and Sinop’s Ayancık districts are among the places severely affected by the flood, he added.
The president announced that the government declared three provinces as disaster areas.
Some 4,760 personnel, 19 helicopters, one UAV, 66 ambulances, 41 national medical rescue teams, 630 service vehicles, 437 construction equipment and many other equipment are operating in the field, the president said, noting that mobile GSM stations are dispatched for uninterrupted communications.
The government has taken all emergency measures from credit support to tax deferrals, he noted.
Erdoğan also slammed opposition parties for their rhetoric on the issue of the government’s handling of recent disasters.
“The opposition is trying to target us. They neither go to the fire nor the flood zone, they only know how to attack from where they sit,” the president said.
“Those who cannot stop Turkey’s progress with terror and plots are trying to do so with hate speech. But we will throw this dirty policy in the bin,” he added.
When the government “successfully” leaves behind this critical period, “a brand-new era will begin before this country and its people,” Erdoğan stated.
[HH] Turkey launches aid campaign for disaster-hit citizens
The government has launched an aid campaign for citizens who have been affected by fire and flood disasters in Turkey, a decree published in the Official Gazette said on Aug. 13.
Individuals and organizations will also be able to make cash donations for the campaign. The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) will run the campaign.
A statement by AFAD said that “aid will be made through warehouses to be created in disaster areas, and cash aid will be made through the previously announced accounts.”
The decision of the aid campaign was criticized by the opposition.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chair Onursal Adıgüzel argued that “the government turns every crisis into an opportunity.”
“Is there a need for you if the people are going to cover the damage caused by disasters out of their own pockets?” he said on his Twitter account.
CHP İzmir deputy Tuncay Özkan criticized the government for donating $30 million to Somalia but sharing IBAN numbers to citizens through which they can donate in the wake of disasters in the country.
Opposition Future Party spokesperson Serkan Özcan accused the government of not taking measures in the face of crises.
“You are at the forefront when it comes to IBAN, it is a shame,” he said.