Republican People’s Party Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu released a video from Hatay Arsuz, one of the regions where the Maraş-centred earthquakes caused tremendous destruction.
CHP Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who visited Adana, Iskenderun, Antakya, Samandağ and Arsuz, made the following note to the video he released with a delay due to the internet problem in the region: “I saw the state of our people on the region. I refuse to look at the events above the politics and to align with the Power. This collapse is precisely the result of systematic rent politics. I will not meet Erdoğan, his Palace and the rent gangs on any ground. I will fight for my people until the end.”
CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu made the following statements in the video he released:
“Hello, everyone. After Adana, Hatay central district, Iskenderun and Antakya, we finally visited Samandağ district. Now we are in Arsuz. We met with our mayors and met with earthquake victims. At this point, there are a few things I would like to share with our people.
Our country has faced terrible devastation. We all know and observe it. There are heartbreaking images here. Our hearts ache. The most important message I can give to our people affected by the earthquake is that the heart of Turkey beats in the earthquake zone. You are never, never alone. The feelings, thoughts and prayers of our people are with them. Our people are doing their best to help; we are with you. And we will do everything in our power to help our cities and villages to rise. We will start the recovery phase in the most severely affected areas. My mayors and I are here for this.
I want to address the government from here. This time we will not accept the bureaucratic obstacles you created during Covid. We will move the necessary aid as fast as possible to the places where it is needed the most. We are no longer interested in the politics of the Palace, Your PR activities and fake news.
For example, ministers are travelling in convoys for PR. However, the necessary measures for coordinating the disaster have yet to be taken here. In addition, Turkey’s experience in this field needs to be utilised sufficiently.
Cooperation between public institutions, municipalities and non-governmental organisations is vital in these disasters. But there is a political attitude towards municipalities. You have destroyed many non-governmental organisations under pressure. Yesterday, there were 3,500 soldiers in the field. Unfortunately, it was too late to dispatch our miners, who are natural search and rescue personnel.
In summary, they failed in this as they failed in every other issue. They don’t know how to manage the state; I swear to God it’s true, they don’t know. Let me be very clear; if there is a main responsible for this process, it is Erdoğan. For 20 years, this government has not prepared the country for an earthquake. That is why I never plan to meet with him.
I never, ever consider this issue above politics. His politics brought us to this situation. They let the gangs eat the taxes for the earthquake. Where is that money? It’s gone. The people who paid taxes to the state in every form throughout their lives could not see the state with them when they needed it. All they care about is elections. All they care about is the Palace!
He calls for ‘stand by me’ whenever he causes ruin in this country. Come on out of here! I have nothing to do with you! And I won’t!
The more I see the state of our people, the angrier I get. Someone has to account for where the resources of this country have been spent. So I don’t plan to support anyone’s efforts to soften the disaster.
I told our mayors that they would do their best to provide resources. Are they putting bureaucratic obstacles; do it, don’t listen; if you need to be arrested to find bread and blankets for these people, be arrested. Quarrels, protocols and bureaucracy are over because words are over! Millions of our people sleep on the streets and in their cars at night. Thousands of our lives are under the rubble; we are wounded.
We are both sad and angry. Now it is time to repair and heal. Our nation is already in solidarity. There is no need for my solidarity with Erdoğan and his Palace.
My mayors were with me all day long. I trust them. Our nation and we will stand shoulder to shoulder and overcome this. We will bring these cities to rise again. I promise my nation.”