Erdogan blames ‘fate’s plan’ for extent of Turkey’s earthquake disaster

Erdogan blames ‘fate’s plan’ for extent of Turkey’s earthquake disaster
Erdogan at the bedside of a hospitalised earthquake survivor in Kilis, south-central Turkey. / Turkish Presidency.
By bne IntelIiNews February 10, 2023

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on February 9 risked stoking more resentment among survivors of the country’s massive earthquake tragedy when he doubled down on the notion that the two giant quakes were solely responsible for the devastation, rather than look at the role of poorly constructed buildings linked to corruption or rescue efforts hit by stark delays.

During a visit to Pazarcik, a town in Kahramanmaras province in southern Turkey, Erdogan, reported the Guardian, told one person: “What happens, happens, this is part of fate’s plan.”

The remark was an echo of a comment he made last year after an explosion at a state-run coal mine killed 41 miners. Erdogan told mining families that it was “fate’s design”.

“Erdogan has an image he’s cultivated in the last 20 years, it’s both sweet and sour: he’s autocratic, but effective, a patriarchal figure almost replacing what used to be called devlet baba, the fatherly state. This is why his base loves him and his opponents fear him – his wrath is serious as much as his compassion is real. That’s his whole brand, which is now being tested,” Soner Cagaptay of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and author of several books on Erdogan’s leadership, told the UK daily.

“It’s remarkable as Erdogan replaced another overarching, autocratic fatherly state which essentially collapsed following another massive earthquake in 1999.”

By the end of February 9, the death toll caused by the earthquakes across southeastern Turkey and northern Syria had passed 21,000, with 17,674 confirmed dead in Turkey and 3,377 reported deceased in Syria.

The 1999 earthquake referred to by Cagaptay struck Izmit, east of Istanbul. From 17,000 to 18,000 people lost their lives in that disaster.

Related Articles

Saudi ACWA Power to deliver $4.1bn of green hydrogen and wind projects in Uzbekistan

Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power has announced plans to construct green hydrogen and wind projects in Uzbekistan. In partnership with state-owned Uzkimyosanoat, it will implement green hydrogen projects ... more

Three prisoners die in riot and escape attempts at Turkish prisons in earthquake-hit zone

Three prisoners died and 12 were wounded as an attempted revolt at Turkey’s Hatay T Type Closed Prison was supressed, the Turkish general directorate of prisons and detention ... more

MERRY XMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR - no service until Jan 2

Dear Readers, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! bne and bna are breaking up for our annual Christmas holiday. We will continue to cover major events over the holiday period as they happen, ... more