Erdogan condemns criticism of Turkey's quake response

Aftermath of the deadly earthquake in Kahramanmaras
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with people in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Kahramanmaras, Turkey February 8, 2023. Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

ISTANBUL, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday condemned criticism of the government's response to devastating earthquakes that have killed more than 11,000 people in southern Turkey and northwest Syria.

"This is a time for unity, solidarity. In a period like this, I cannot stomach people conducting negative campaigns for political interest," he told reporters on his arrival in the southern province of Hatay.

He said it was not possible to be prepared for such a disaster, but that the government would accelerate rubble removal and housing construction. The death toll in Turkey had risen to 9,057, he added.

Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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