The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Pervin Buldan called for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s resignation following the earthquake disaster in Turkey. The Kurdish politician visited today with other MPs the earthquake victims in Pazarcik district of Maraş, the epicentre of the 6 February earthquake, and participated in the distribution of relief goods. The earthquake relief work of the HDP and other opposition organisations has been systematically obstructed by the state for days. In Pazarcik, a crisis coordination centre set up jointly by the HDP and local associations was occupied by the military on Wednesday and placed under state supervision.
Buldan said that the HDP’s solidarity work will continue without interruption despite the state blockade. “We can heal these wounds together, we can create the means to secure peace in Turkey through solidarity,” said the HDP co-chair. She said that her party has been working with thousands of volunteers since the earthquake to assist those affected: “We have given them aid, we have tried to heal the wounds together. We have mobilised to rescue people from under the rubble. This solidarity and unity continue.”
Pervin Buldan continued: “Both the people of Pazarcik and our party, together with non-governmental organisations and professional associations, collected materials in a warehouse. The relief materials delivered by trucks were unloaded there and then distributed to all the villages. There was a way to distribute all the materials to the people in the villages. That was real solidarity. It was a mobilisation to heal the wounds together. Last night, the district governor confiscated and usurped the relief materials on orders from above. To prevent solidarity and cohesion, the building was seized and a trustee was appointed. The trustee concept is not new in this country. Since the day the elected mayors in our municipalities were replaced by trustees, the AKP/MHP government has spread this concept all over Turkey.”
Buldan noted there are only six HDP-ruled municipalities left in Turkey. All other cities and municipalities where the HDP won the local elections are under trustee administration. “If our mayors were not in prison today, our people would not have so many victims to mourn. All our municipalities would have been mobilised,” the HDP co-chair stressed.
Buldan stated that she had come with an aid truck and would continue to do so in the future: “If attempts are made to stop us, then we will find ways to provide aid to our people on our own terms.” In any other country in the world, the government would have resigned after such a disaster, Buldan said, calling on the president and his cabinet to resign: “If this government had a conscience, they would have resigned by the second day at the latest. However, they don’t have the face to resign, and they don’t have a conscience either.”
Ten days after violent earthquakes hit the Turkish-Syrian border area, the official death toll has risen to more than 42,000. In Turkey, about 36,200 people died, according to the disaster service AFAD. From Syria, the World Health Organisation (WHO) last reported around 6,000 dead.
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