By Athena Papakosta

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan is under pressure as he risks losing the election game. In his attempt to reverse the unfavorable climate promises housing within the next 12 months while committing to the payment of 100,000 pounds to the relatives of the dead.

For its part, the Turkish opposition is pushing and criticizing him with Republican People’s Party chairman – and possible presidential candidate – Kemal Kilindaroglu stressing that the Turkish president himself and his regime are the downfall of this country. The call by a founding member of the ruling party, AKP, to postpone the elections in Turkey until 2024 added more fuel to the fire with the opposition warning Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to dare to proceed with… an electoral coup.

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In particular, Bulent Aris, requested on Monday the postponing the elections as the vote would be impossible to organize after the disaster, and he suggested moving the polls to 2024. Turkish opposition leaders have attacked Erdogan, accusing him of doing so because he sees he will lose.

A few days ago, the Turkish president admitted that his government’s reaction was slower than he wanted, while Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also admitted delays. “Of course everything is not perfect. There were weaknesses in coordination initially but, soon, a system was set up to deal with natural disasters”, he pointed out.

The scale of the disaster is enormous. Just like the images we see all these days arriving from Turkey, the numbers are relentless and constantly revised.

Since the deadly magnitude 7.8 and 7.7 earthquakes on Monday, February 6, 35,418 are the people who have been recovered dead from the debris in Turkey and at least 6,000 are the dead in her neighboring country, Syria.

In Turkey’s hospitals at least 105,500 people are injured of which at least 13,000 are still in hospitals with hundreds remaining in a critical condition.

At the same time, 195,962 residents have left their homes and are now displaced to other affected provinces. So far it has been known that the houses which collapsed and/or have been completely destroyed are 47,000, while damages have been recorded in at least 200,000 houses.

As for the homeless, their number exceeds one million. In the affected cities one will find 175,000 tents and 5,400 containers while the Emir of Qatar promised to send another 10,000 containers to house a very small part of the homeless. At the same time, Ankara received 36,000 tents from abroad and expects an additional 51,000 to arrive.

Health conditions remain dire. Indicative is the fact that a large part of the sanitary infrastructure has been put out of operation. Citizens speaking to foreign news agencies reported that they have not been able to wash off the dust of the earthquake while, even in the camps, the chemical toilets are not sufficient to serve the needs of those who live in them.

Now, the citizens are waiting to be convinced that something will be done, that even now they will be helped by Ankara. For now, the ground is still shaking. A terrifying reminder of this ongoing tragedy. 3,900 aftershocks have been recorded to date. An alarm clock that wakes up the nightmare and means that every fifteen minutes people in the affected areas can feel the earth shaking…