7:10 (CET): Death toll rises in Turkey
Turkey have updated the number of people who lost their lives in the earthquakes to 19,388 and the number of injured to 77,711.
7:05 (CET): Turkish police arrest contractor of destroyed residence
The contractor of Rönesans Residence in Hatay was detained at Turkey’s Istanbul Airport while trying to go abroad.
The 12-floor and 250-flat residence, which was built in the Antakya district of Hatay in 2013 and was advertised as “a place from heaven”, was completely destroyed in Monday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake. One thousand people lived in the residence.
6:19 (CET): US eases sanctions on Syria
The United States eased sanctions on Syria on Friday in order to allow humanitarian aid to reach the country, North Press Agency reported. A license was issued by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which allows earthquake relief to be carried out for 180 days.
“As international allies and humanitarian partners mobilize to help those affected, I want to make very clear that U.S. sanctions in Syria will not stand in the way of life-saving efforts for the Syrian people,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo.
4:51 (CET): NATO provides shelters to earthquake victims in Turkey
NATO allies agreed on Thursday to deploy fully-equipped semi-permanent shelters to Turkey, to help provide accommodation for people who were left homeless by Monday’s powerful earthquakes.
3:31 (CET): Syrian President visits earthquake regions, Twitter suspends his account
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited the earthquake-hit areas for the first time.
Meanwhile, Assad’s Twitter account was suspended after his posts criticising international charities.
“Most organisations claim to support both Turkey and Syria, but only send their money to Turkey. I wonder who is stopping them? Hint: Not Syria,” Assad wrote before his account was suspended.
2:57 (CET): Turkey’s ruling AKP MP: “I wish we had taken necessary precautions.”
“I wish we had taken the necessary precautions, I wish we had made our houses more resistant,” said ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Hatay MP Hüseyin Yayman, who lost 11 of his relatives, including his brother and sister, in the earthquake.
2:29 (CET) Turkey arrests 10 over social media posts
Turkish police detained 37 people over “provocative posts” on social media and sent 10 of them to prison, the General Directorate of Security announced on Friday.
02:08 (CET): Turkish President admits late response to earthquake victims
“Unfortunately, it is a fact that we were unable to quickly deliver the response to earthquake victims,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in Adıyaman (Semsûr). Erdoğan announced that the number of deaths has increased to 18,911 and the number of injured to 75,523.
12:56 (CET): Turkey’s elections may be postponed to June, İYİ Party’s Akşener says
Turkey’s upcoming 14 May elections may be postponed to 18 June due to the earthquake disasters, opposition İYİ Party’s Meral Akşener told Turkish journalist Murat Yetkin. The leader of the centre-right opposition party remained silent when asked how the calamity will affect Erdoğan’s vote, although her vice chairman Koray Aydın merely said, “He’ll get a slap for this.”
Search and rescue efforts continue on the fifth day after the devastating twin earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria. Thursday night brought the total number of people who died to 21,719.
Turkey’s death toll due to the 6 February’s earthquakes rose to 18,342, according to Turkey’s Disaster and Management Authority’s (AFAD) latest statement. In Syria, the number of people who lost their lives is over 3,800.
Leading Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) commander Cemil Bayık declared an unprecedented armistice on Thursday due to the recent earthquake disaster. Bayık called on Kurdish military forces not to take any actions in Turkey and urged solidarity between Kurds and Turks.
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have sent 219 semi-trucks and 149 trucks of supplies to the earthquake victims so far. The party’s Earthquake Crisis Coordination Centre is ready to send 70 more trucks of food to the disaster area.
HDP’s Co-Chair Pervin Buldan is visiting the Kahramanmaraş (Mereş) province and its Pazarcık (Bazarcix) district today, the epicentre of Monday’s disastrous tremors.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the US government will provide $85 million in urgent humanitarian assistance for earthquake-hit Turkey and Syria.
The Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) made a denunciation to identify and prosecute those who are responsible for the destruction in the disaster area, including contractors of the demolished buildings and officials who approved their projects and did not perform inspections as required.