By Merve Aydogan
ANKARA (AA) - Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday pledged to heal the wounds caused by last month's massive earthquakes in southern regions of the country.
Citing their previous efforts to reconstruct after the previous natural disasters that have occurred in Türkiye such as the wildfires and floods, Erdogan said they will also heal the wounds from the Feb. 6 earthquakes in short time.
"There is no other country in the world other than Türkiye that can come to the stage of rebuilding in such a short time in the face of a disaster that has caused such severe destruction in such a large area," he told the first groundbreaking ceremony for 17,902 disaster and village houses in southern Kahramanmaras province.
The deadly quakes will not take away Türkiye's will to succeed and its determination to actualize its vision of the "Century of Türkiye" initiative, Erdogan said, adding: "While strengthening our existing organized industries, we are establishing a new organized industrial zone in (Kahramanmaras' district of) Afsin.”
"We have rolled up our sleeves to build 77,057 disaster houses and 30,310 village houses in Kahramanmaras after the damage assessments," he added.
Erdogan reiterated his pledge to handover quake victims' permanent houses within a year.
Over 50,000 people have died in the earthquakes, with at least 12,307 in Kahramanmaras, Erdogan said.
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.