As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan struggles to defend his response to last Monday’s devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake, videos from a few years back have emerged showing him hailing some of the housing projects that crumbled, killing thousands of people.
The videos have fueled public outrage over slow efforts to help residents in the aftermath of the massive earthquake — the world’s deadliest in over a decade — that killed more than 35,000 people in Turkey.
“We solved the problem of 144,156 citizens of Maras with zoning amnesty,” Erdogan said, using his term for the construction amnesties handed out to allow contractors to ignore the safety codes that had been put on the books specifically to make apartment blocks, houses and office buildings more resistant to earthquakes.
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Videos have surfaced of the Turkish president in 2019 praising a policy that let builders skirt earthquake safety codes. https://t.co/yky4wz8Nug
— NPR (@NPR) February 14, 2023