Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the presidential and parliamentary elections will be held as scheduled on May 14
In a speech to parliamentarians from the ruling Justice and Development Party in Ankara, Erdogan said, “This nation will do what is necessary on May 14, God willing.” He was referring to the date on which he had previously stated that the elections would be held.
Doubts were raised about the possibility of holding elections on time, after the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, killing thousands and displacing millions of people.
The elections were scheduled to be held next June, the original date, before being brought forward to May to avoid holidays in June, but the earthquake confused the government’s calculations.
A government official told the agency that there were several reasons that led to the retreat from the idea of postponing, including the belief that the government is avoiding the elections on the one hand, and the opposition’s negative reaction to the postponement proposal on the other hand, in addition to legal issues related to the constitution.
The Turkish Disaster and Emergency Authority stated today, Wednesday, that the death toll in Turkey as a result of the devastating earthquake that struck the country last month rose to 45,089, bringing the total number of earthquake deaths in Turkey and Syria to about 51,000.
The earthquake and subsequent strong tremors also injured more than 108,000 people in Turkey, and millions were sheltered in tents or sought to move to other cities.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to rebuild the homes within a year, but it will take several months before thousands can leave the tents or living in cargo containers and the daily lines for food and move into permanent housing.
And that there are more than 160,000 Turkish buildings, including 520,000 apartments, that collapsed or were severely damaged in the disaster, which is the worst in the country’s modern history.
The administration said in a statement that about two million people have fled the area, which has been hit by more than 11,000 aftershocks since the first quake.
It said it has set up more than 350,000 tents, with tent cities set up in 332 places across the region. Container housing was constructed in 162 spaces.