The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is preparing to introduce a law proposal on earthquakes to the Turkish National Assembly next week, in the wake of the deadly 6 February tremors that have devastated 11 provinces in the country’s southeast.
The new bill will be in accordance with the scientific reports and expert opinions on the earthquake reality of the country, HDP’s Group Deputy Chair Meral Danış Beştaş told ArtıGerçek.
“Our party and deputies have carried out many solution-oriented works regarding susceptibilities on earthquakes so far,” said Beştaş, recalling that these studies were largely ignored by the government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP): “We’ll not step back in working on this issue.”
Beştaş said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government has rejected most of the HDP’s attempts on the earthquake safety issue, which include 72 parliamentary questions and 18 parliamentary research proposals, as well as three law proposals to prevent the granting of construction permits in areas with a high earthquake risk.
“Two of these questions were directly related to an earthquake risk in Hatay, which indicates our precision and foresight on the subject,” Beştaş said.
At the southern tip of Turkey, Hatay is one of the worst affected provinces by the 6 February tremors, which has a countrywide death toll of 40,642 so far.
The HDP, Turkey’s third largest opposition, was also the only party that opposed the AKP’s “construction amnesty” in 2018, the most comprehensive legal exemption of the AKP’s series of amnesties that allowed for projects without earthquake-safety requirements.