By Zaheena Rasheed, Virginia Pietromarchi and Arwa Ibrahim
The death toll from the Turkey-Syria earthquakes is nearing 42,000.
Turkish authorities say 36,187 people have been killed in the country. The Syrian government and the United Nations say more than 5,800 people have died in Syria.
The United Nations has launched an appeal for $1bn in aid to help victims in Turkey of last week’s catastrophic earthquake that killed thousands of people.
The world body said in a statement that the funds would provide humanitarian relief for three months to 5.2 million people, allowing aid organisations to “rapidly scale up vital support”.
The Red Cross has more than tripled its emergency funding appeal to over $700m for aid to victims of the catastrophic earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria last week.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it now estimated it would need 650 million Swiss francs ($702m) to help respond to the soaring humanitarian needs in both countries.
Just over a week ago, the organisation had estimated its funding needs at 200 million francs ($216m).
A Turkish volunteer runs down a pile of rubble, dragging a Syrian man with a bloodied face as anger builds and refugee tensions soar across quake-shattered regions.
“He was stealing!” the volunteer screams, echoing looting charges levelled against refugee across the ruins of Antakya and other cities flattened by last week’s quake.
The 7.8-magnitude tremor killed more than 41,000 people in southeast Turkey and parts of Syria, and laid waste to a region filled with families that fled the 12-year Syrian war.
It also seems to have inflamed resentment against foreigners in Turkey, home to the world’s largest population of people fleeing conflict zones.
When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assumed sweeping powers in 2018, he swore the state would deliver more under a centralised system that his critics compare to one-man rule.
Five years on, an agonisingly slow response to a catastrophic quake has undermined that idea, boosting the opposition’s case in polls planned for May, experts say.
Erdogan has acknowledged “shortcomings” in the government’s handling of Turkey’s deadliest disaster of its post-Ottoman history.
The opposition says the February 6 quake underlines why Turkey must switch back to a parliamentary system under which agencies have more freedom to act on their own.
“You have centralisation in all Turkish institutions, which is reflected in institutions that specifically should not have it,” such as the disaster agency, said Hetav Rojan, a disaster management expert who follows Turkey closely.
Turkey’s central bank bought 1.8 billion lira ($95.51m) worth of government bonds and sukuk via the quotation method, central bank data from Refinitiv Eikon has shown.
It follows the central bank’s buying of 4.1 billion lira ($217.5m) worth of government bonds and sukuk via the quotation method on Wednesday.
The central bank earlier said it would buy up to eight billion lira ($424.5m) in government bonds and sukuk, a move bankers said was aimed at balancing government bond sales by pension funds who must meet new regulations on the allocation of stocks in the government-sponsored part of the funds.