Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency on Tuesday in 10 southeastern provinces hit by a devastating earthquake that killed thousands.
“We have decided to declare a state of emergency to ensure our work. [de rescate] We can do it quickly,” Erdogan said in a televised remark.
“We will expedite the presidential and congressional process related to this decision, which will cover the 10 earthquake-affected states and will last three months,” he added.
Two earthquakes hit Turkey and neighboring Syria on Monday. The first earthquake of magnitude 7.8 occurred at 04:17 local time. Noon of the second magnitude 7.5.
The latest figures show that the quake killed more than 5,000 people in both countries and the number continues to rise.
The latest figures released by Turkey put the death toll at 3,549. At least 1,602 people have died in Syria, according to Damascus authorities and rescue workers in rebel areas.
Erdogan said the government will send more than 50,000 aid workers to the region and allocate $5.3 billion in financial aid. His response to this tragedy will be very important in the May 14th election.
Relief efforts in isolated areas near Syria were hampered by severe winter storms that made some roads impassable and delayed the delivery of food and aid.
The government has faced a wave of criticism on social media, accusing it of reacting too slowly to the country’s largest earthquake in nearly a century.