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650,000 new homes to be built in quake-hit zone, says Turkish president

Some 650,000 new homes will be built in regions of Türkiye recently hit by powerful earthquakes, the country’s president said Thursday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Muslim holy month of Ramadan went by with a heavy heart in Türkiye due to the losses in the Feb. 6 quakes, adding: “We are healing the wounds of the disaster of the century with the solidarity of the century.”

“We plan to build 650,000 new homes, including 507,000 residences and 143,000 village houses, in the earthquake zone. We will deliver 319,000 of them to their owners within a year,” Erdogan said in a message marking the start of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday following Ramadan.

Erdogan said that most of the debris from the quakes had been cleared and the construction process of over 100,000 post-disaster residences and village houses has started.

“As the traces of the earthquakes are removed, life in the region is gradually returning to its normal rhythm,” he added.

“We believe that following the Eid, returns to the region, including our earthquake-hit cities, will gain speed with the opening of schools. Although we cannot bring back our losses, we are determined to hand new homes over to our earthquake-victim brothers and sisters as soon as possible,” he added.

Touching on next month’s general and presidential elections, in which Erdogan is seeking a new term, he said: “We will complete the May 14 elections with the support of our nation, and will ensure that the reconstruction and revival of the earthquake zone continues uninterruptedly.”

“We expect each and every individual of the 85 million, our youth in particular, to stand with us in this holy and challenging struggle,” he said.

“We believe that our nation will once again favor deeds over words, action over rhetoric, services over manipulation. I thank in advance all my citizens who defend our vision of the Century of Türkiye and support us with their prayers,” he added.

On Feb. 6, magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck numerous Turkish provinces, taking over 50,000 lives.

Around 14 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the quakes as well as many others in northern Syria.

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