Erdogan says May election to go ahead despite Turkey quake


Published: 2023-03-02 16:45

Last Updated: 2024-05-23 15:39

Erdogan says May election to go ahead despite Turkey quake
Erdogan says May election to go ahead despite Turkey quake

Wednesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled out any delay in elections after the deadly quake that killed tens of thousands in Turkey.

He said the vote would push ahead on May 14 as planned.

After the massive 7.8-magnitude quake that killed more than 45,000 people in Turkey, speculation mounted on whether the polls -- which could keep Erdogan's Islamic-rooted government in power until 2028 -- would be able to proceed.

Last month, Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency across 11 quake-hit provinces, and the region is still suffering from strong tremors that make the likelihood of campaigning in the area extremely unlikely.

But Erdogan told his ruling party lawmakers in the Ankara parliament that "(Turkish) people will dowhat is necessary on May 14."

A delegation from Turkey's Higher Election Board started a mission Monday to the quake zone to report on the voters' situation and election security.

Erdogan's government has come under fire for failing to deploy sufficient humanitarian aid and relief teams in several locations in the days following the earthquake.

Survivors in several provinces told AFP they had to pull out people with their bare hands, and complained of the absence of help in initial days.

Erdogan has acknowledged some "shortcomings" immediately after the disaster, but blamed severe weather conditions and damaged roads.

"There were shortcomings, disruptions and delays but we... rushed to help earthquake survivors with all our might," he said Wednesday.

"We are not hiding behind excuses," he added.