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Turkey's politicians play blame game as earthquake death toll hits 20,000

The ruling AKP and its ally MHP approved the bill on declaring a state of emergency for Turkey’s quake zone while opposition parties voted against it, saying the president already has sufficient powers for disaster management.
People walk past a collapsed building on Feb. 09, 2023 in Hatay, Turkey.

The death toll in Turkey from Monday’s double earthquakes surpassed 17,000 today, and Turkish politicians are locked in a blame game as they separately toured the ravaged region where more than 120,000 aid workers continue their race against time.

As this article went to publication, the death toll in Turkey was 17,406 — with more than 3,000 people confirmed dead in the last six hours and an additional 3,300 lives lost in Syria. The number of injured was 70,347 since the two earthquakes of 7.7 and 7.6 magnitudes and 1,206 aftershocks. The Turkish relief agency AFAD said in a statement Thursday that more than 130,000 tents had been erected in the region, and 30,360 people were evacuated from earthquake-hit areas and placed in nearby hotels and accommodation centers.

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