One of Turkey leading seismologists, Prof. Dr. Celal Şengör, who has also become a media fenom, said, “Erdogan has completely failed!” in a statement to German Das Bild.
German geophysical engineer Andreas Schafer said that while he expected the estimated death toll to be 67 thousand as a result of the earthquake that affected Turkey and Syria, the last earthquake of similar intensity occurred 909 years ago.
Earthquakes in Pazarcık and Elbistan districts of Kahramanmaraş destroyed 10 provinces. So far, 18 thousand 342 people lost their lives in Turkey, while the number of injured was 74 thousand 242.
After the disaster, Prof Şengör accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of complete failure; “He did almost everything wrong” he quipped.
According to German Bild newspaper, Prof Şengör added, “In the last major earthquake that occurred in Turkey in 1999, there were officially 18,000 dead, but the actual body count was probably more than 30,000. So, what did Erdogan do to better prepare the country for such major earthquakes? Almost nothing! Although he was prime minister from 2003 to 2014 and president since then”.
Şengör listed Erdogan’s big mistakes.
Building codes completely ignored
“Erdogan has orchestrated or personally drafted laws year after year to ensure that houses are built earthquake-proof in the future. But when the laws were finally enacted, he did almost nothing to ensure they were complied with.”
“Too much corruption”
“Corruption has increased drastically since Erdogan came to power. A large part of the money collected by the state for earthquake prevention measures went into the pockets of government officials.”
“No tolerance for criticism”
“Erdogan created a climate where no one dared to say anything anymore. He demoted or fired whistleblowers. Even now, he humiliated citizens who criticized him as ‘dishonest’ after the earthquake on Monday.”
A new earthquake warning
While warning of a new earthquake in Istanbul, Şengör said, “Unfortunately, the magnitude of the earthquake in Hatay and Kahramanmaras was around 7.8. We have to expect a similar earthquake in Istanbul. The probability of an earthquake greater than 7 in the next 30 years is around 70 percent.”