Earthquake SPÖ Bayr: “Absolutely unacceptable to play tactical election games behind the backs of ethnic minorities”

SPÖ Spokesperson for Global Development Slams Erdogan’s Aid Blockade – Humanitarian Aid Should Benefit All Those Affected by the Earthquake

Vienna (OTS/SK) – “While the death toll after the earthquake in Turkey and Syria is around 50,000, the Turkish government continues to provide aid in a highly selective manner: wherever Kurds or Alevis live, it barely reaches help. Furthermore, the Turkish army is bombing these very areas, coldly aggravating the suffering of millions of people. In doing so, Erdogan is using a strategy he always follows when under domestic pressure: he creates a new problem to divert attention of its own. This time it is the massive criticism of its failure in earthquake policy in recent years: instead of spending money on resilient buildings and precautionary measures for long-predicted stronger earthquakes, other pots were used, the violation of the building regulations has been ignored in general – only now are there arrests and announcements,” says Petra Bayr, SPÖ spokesperson for global development, about current developments surrounding the earthquake in Tu rky and Syria. ****

Furthermore, the Turkish government still refuses to open border crossings into Syria so that international aid can arrive more easily. Hoping to secure his majority in parliamentary elections planned for mid-May, Erdogan is playing domestic politics with her. “It is absolutely unacceptable to play election games behind the backs of ethnic minorities in this exceptional humanitarian situation. As unacceptable as IS, which in this situation continues to carry out attacks in Syria and aggravates the humanitarian and political catastrophe that Syrians have been suffering for years. However, IS is a terrorist organization, while the Turkish state is a member of the UN and NATO,” says Bayr.

“I call on the EU to put political pressure on Erdogan so that humanitarian aid can equally benefit all those affected by the earthquake. Erdogan must no longer block international aid to those out of sight and must open border crossings to Syria for international aid”, concluded Bayr. (close) lp

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