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Turkish president vows to ‘erase traces’ of Feb. 6 earthquakes

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday promised to heal the wounds of the victims of powerful earthquakes that hit the country’s southern region last month and claimed more than 50,000 lives.

“Together we will remove the traces of this disaster,” Erdogan said at a groundbreaking ceremony in quake-hit Hatay province.

On Feb. 6, magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck 11 Turkish provinces – Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa.

More than 13.5 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the quakes as well as many others in northern Syria.

“We will not leave (quake-hit region) until all the wounds are healed and everything that has been destroyed is rebuilt for the better,” he added.

Türkiye plans to construct enough buildings in a year to meet the needs of quake victims, Erdogan said, adding that 319,000 houses would be built in the first year and 650,000 in total.

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