Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended his government’s response to two catastrophic earthquakes, saying it was impossible to prepare for the scale of the disaster, the BBC reports.
At least 15,000 people are confirmed dead in Turkey and northern Syria.
Critics claimed the emergency services’ response was too slow and the government was poorly prepared.
Erdogan accepted the government had encountered some problems, but said the situation was now “under control.”
The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu disagreed. “If there is one person responsible for this, it is Erdogan,” he said.
The president rejected the accusation and said unity was required in the aftermath of the disaster, “In a period like this, I cannot stomach people conducting negative campaigns for political interest,” he told reporters in Hatay.
Thousands of survivors have been spending a third night in freezing conditions, with hope fading for many trapped under the rubble.
A World Health Organization official has warned there could be significant injuries caused by freezing temperatures among survivors of the quakes.