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VP Oktay confirms reconstruction progress in Türkiye’s quake zone



Vice President Fuat Oktay offered updates about the ongoing rehabilitation efforts overseen by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority’s (AFAD) coordination center set up to cope with the aftermath of the Feb. 6 earthquakes and floods that struck the country’s southeastern region and claimed over 49,000 lives.

The vice president said that the AFAD, gendarmerie, police and Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) personnel have been working on search and rescue activities around the clock in Adıyaman and Şanlıurfa after the recent floods and February earthquakes.

Sharing information related to funds accumulated for the victims, Oktay said: “AFAD has sent TL 22.3 billion ($1.17 billion) to our provinces affected by the earthquake, TL 31 billion has been sent by our public institutions and organizations, and TL 82.4 billion of the amount committed in the ‘Türkiye One Heart’ campaign was deposited into AFAD accounts by our donors. The amount was dispatched to the provinces, and the aid collected is being used in the recovery of our disaster area and the needs of our citizens. Currently, our priority is sheltering, providing food and rebuilding cities for the survivors.”

He also affirmed that 2.3 million citizens were provided with shelter in tents, containers, state dormitories, hotels, public guesthouses and other facilities in and outside the disaster area.

“To meet the temporary shelter needs of our citizens after the ‘disaster of the century,’ the tent and container installations that we started in the region from the first moment continue uninterruptedly.

“So far, 354 tent city areas have been established with 480,000 tent settlements, and accommodation is being provided to 1.9 million citizens via tents. In addition, it is planned to install 245 container cities with a total of 108,155 containers in our provinces affected by the earthquake. While 25,000 container installations have been completed, and a total of 96,444 citizens are sheltered in the containers,” he said, adding that under the “Housing Support Payment” program, TL 10,000 was deposited into the accounts of each family affected by the earthquake.


Regarding infrastructure work, Oktay explained that the problems in the Atatürk Dam water intake tunnel – which supplies water to the Şanlıurfa central water treatment plant – were resolved. “As of 10 p.m. last night, the main water treatment plant has been recommissioned and the water supply is now reconnected to the central districts, and approximately 50% of the population is now receiving a supply. The rest will receive water as of tonight.”

“As far as other infrastructure is concerned, 1.8 million buildings comprising 5.3 million independent sections have been examined on site and damage assessments have been made so far in the provinces affected by the earthquake. Besides, 298,448 buildings that were heavily or moderately damaged have been demolished,” Oktay apprised, adding that the urgent need for 75,000 village houses and 319,000 residences will be completed within one year.

The construction of 35,000 houses and the foundations of nearly 20,000 houses will be laid simultaneously in 11 provinces with the help of the Housing Development Administration (TOKI) and under the direct supervision of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Noting that the debris removal process continues in the affected region, Oktay said that nearly 22% of the debris has been removed so far. Noting that the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change carried out ground surveys with 49,835 meters of drilling in 154 areas, Oktay said that they carried out the restoration process of the cities affected by the earthquake with a delegation of scientists from different fields of expertise.

Recalling that the election process has begun, Oktay said: “The government wants every citizen to use their right in the law. There will be no rights violation if the earthquake survivors move their residences elsewhere to vote. We have 345,097 citizens who have changed their residence so far.”

While 2.5 million people are provided with three meals a day through public institutions and nongovernmental organizations, Oktay noted that mobile kitchens continue to work to meet the nutritional needs of earthquake victims.

Touching upon the preparations ahead of Ramadan, Oktay said that the work related to the month of Ramadan is underway in tent and container cities and wished a blessed month of Ramadan to everyone in Türkiye, especially to the citizens in the earthquake region.


Stressing the importance of normalcy for children, in particular, the official noted that except for Adıyaman and Malatya provinces, education has restarted across the country. “Preparations for our other provinces are also being carried out by our Ministry of National Education, relevant ministries, and our local bodies,” he added.

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Source: Daily Sabah

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