Minister of Interior Affairs Süleyman Soylu attended a ceremony organized by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) on the occasion of the signing of the disaster training cooperation protocol with the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), the Union of Turkish Agricultural Chambers (TZOB) and the Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TİSK).
Minister Soylu said during the ceremony that Turkey is located in a disaster zone and it is the duty of the government to provide good management during disasters adding that people used to ask where the government was during the rule of the previous administrations.
Soylu pointed out that the 1999 earthquake was a milestone for Turkey and AFAD undertook an important mission about measures that must be taken regarding natural disasters.
Noting that damaged houses were rebuilt quickly in the aftermath of the Van earthquake, Soylu stated, “Under the leadership of our President, our people did not ask where the government was when they suffered from the consequences of disasters.”
Disaster training for 51 million people
Minister Soylu said “provincial disaster risk plans” of 81 cities will be completed until the end of this year and AFAD and related organizations are working in an effort to increase their search and rescue capacities. He stated that the Ministry has developed AFAD application by using high technology which can be downloaded to cell phones which will help rescue teams to detect people who are trapped under debris and inform people about nearest assembly areas.
Reminding that the state responds to disasters promptly and never abandons victims, Soylu stressed that more than 8 thousand houses were built for earthquakes in Elazığ even before the first anniversary of the disaster and 24 thousand buildings will be completed until the end of this year.
Minister Soylu said that the Ministry plans to give disaster training to 51 million people and provided face to face training to 3 million and 691 people till now.
Aid to Arakan Muslims from Turkey
Defining AFAD as the helping hand of Turkey to the world, Soylu pointed out that Turkey had set up a field hospital for Arakan Muslims who were forced to migrate to Bangladesh.
Minister Soylu said that the hospital was heavily damaged after a fire in a refugee camp and went on to say that:
“We had built a total of 4 thousand and 570 houses for Arakan Muslims. On March 22, 1337 of these houses were burnt down. Our president ordered the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization to provide a helping hand to the Arakan Muslims. We founded our teams and they flew to Bangladesh with a military cargo plane. With the will of Allah we will offer our helping hand as soon as possible under the direction of our esteemed President.”