Rahmi Doğan has resigned from his duties as governor of Hatay province in southeastern Turkey to run for parliament in the country’s forthcoming elections, he announced on Wednesday.
“I strove to do beautiful work as much as I could, as much as I had strength for,” Doğan said in his statement published by the governorate’s official accounts. “I witnessed many tough events during my tenure and handled them as they should have been handled.”
Doğan said he will “never forget the sorrow and deep grief” of the 6 February twin earthquakes, which caused great destruction and killed more than 22,000 people in the province.
Among the accusations related to the mishandling of the disaster response was that, on the orders of the governorate, rubble-clearing efforts were rushed ahead of a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, resulting in the potential for excavators to disrupt the bodily integrity of those trapped under the collapsed buildings. At one site, the collapsed Rönesans Residences building where hundreds were killed, there are at least 80 people whose fate remains unknown.
There have been no resignations from central government or provincial governorates in response to growing public demand for accountability. The few resignations that have been submitted have all been in relation to the elections, as Turkish law requires civil servants to resign from their posts before they sign up as candidates.