ANKARA : Türkiye will never forget the solidarity displayed by the EU, the UN, and other international organizations after the Feb. 6 earthquakes, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.
“We will never forget the solidarity displayed by all our friends, the EU with its institutions, member and candidate countries, by the UN, and other international organizations, in these difficult days,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan virtually addressed the opening session of the International Donors’ Conference, organized by the European Commission and the Swedish Presidency of the EU Council to support victims affected by the devastating earthquakes in southern Türkiye.
“This conference is another example of how well-grounded the relations between our peoples are,” he said.
Noting that the estimated cost of the devastation caused by the earthquakes was around $104 billion, he said: “It is not possible for a single nation to tackle a crisis of this scale on its own.”
On Feb. 6, magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck 11 provinces — Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa — in southern Türkiye, and claimed the lives of at least 50,096 people.
More than 13.5 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the devastating quakes, as well as many others in northern Syria.
Türkiye currently hosts more than 4 million refugees, including 3.5 million Syrians, Erdogan said.
“Today, as we heal the wounds of the century’s disaster in our country, we are in solidarity with the Syrian people who were affected by the earthquakes.
“We provide the necessary facilitation for third parties and other countries to transfer humanitarian aid materials by land and air to earthquake victims in Syria. We will continue this attitude in the future,” he added.
Erdogan said 11,320 personnel from 90 countries had come to Türkiye after the quakes.
“Aid from nearly 130 countries reached our earthquake victims. Thirty-six field hospitals were established thanks to you, our dear friends, and contributed to the treatment of our wounded,” he added.
There are about 298,000 uninhabitable buildings in the earthquake zone that have either collapsed or are severely damaged and must be demolished immediately, said Erdogan, adding that the number of independent units in these buildings totaled 876,000.
“We will rebuild and revive all our earthquake-damaged cities, including infrastructure, superstructure, workplaces, and historical and cultural assets,” he stressed.
Türkiye plans to construct enough buildings in a year to meet the needs of quake victims, Erdogan said, adding that 319,000 houses would be built in the first year and 650,000 in total.
The president added that Türkiye will set up 108,000 temporary container homes in two months and accommodate 500,000 people in them. — AA