Erdogan says Türkiye to hold elections on May 14 despite quakes

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday that his government plans to hold the presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14, as the country is still recovering from two devastating earthquakes that struck a large swathe of its southern region in early February.

“The time is coming. This nation will do what is necessary on May 14. No credit will be given to those who empty talk,” Erdogan told his party members at the parliament.

The Turkish president had earlier said that the elections were to be held on May 14 in order to avoid the seasonal migrations of voters and the university exams in early summer.

In the wake of the two major earthquakes on Feb. 6 that killed more than 45,000 people in the country as of Wednesday and caused huge property losses, Türkiye began to discuss whether or not elections scheduled for May or June should be postponed.

The massive earthquakes, centered in southeastern Türkiye, affected 10 provinces, which were home to more than 13 million people. The tremors also destroyed tens of thousands of buildings, leaving tens of thousands of Turks homeless.

More than 11,000 aftershocks have jolted the quake-hit regions since the Feb. 6 tremors, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said.

About 2 million people have been evacuated from the quake-hit regions, according to the disaster agency. ■

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