Looting, shooting and clashes hamper earthquake rescue mission in Türkiye
People stand amid rubble as rescue operations continue in Kahramanmaras, Türkiye. Stoyan Nenov/ Reuters
People stand amid rubble as rescue operations continue in Kahramanmaras, Türkiye. Stoyan Nenov/ Reuters

People stand amid rubble as rescue operations continue in Kahramanmaras, Türkiye. Stoyan Nenov/ Reuters

Turkish authorities have arrested 48 people for looting and stealing from victims of the earthquake, its state media reported. There has also been unrest in Hatay in southern Türkiye which has forced some teams to suspend their rescue operations.

The suspects were held in eight different provinces as part of investigations into theft after Monday's 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the region.

It later reported that 42 suspects were held for looting in the southern Hatay province, while six were arrested over defrauding a victim in Gaziantep by telephone.

The tremor and its aftershocks have killed more than 28,000 people in Türkiye and Syria.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a three-month state of emergency in the 10 provinces in southeastern Türkiye impacted by the tremor.


Prosecutors can now detain people for an extra three days from four days previously for looting crimes as part of extended powers under the state of emergency, according to a decree published in the official gazette.

Erdogan also vowed Türkiye would crack down on looters.

"We've announced a state of emergency," he said during a visit to the quake-affected province of Diyarbakir.

"This means that, from now on, people involved in looting or kidnapping should know that the state's firm hand is on their backs."


Shaolin shines at Madrid's Chinese New Year

Belgrade to Budapest in 3.5 hours by rail

The Secret Betrayal: China's WWII sailors

There have also been reports of fighting in southern Türkiye. German aid organisations suspended rescue operations in the quake region on Saturday, citing security problems and reports of clashes between groups of people and gunfire.

The German International Search and Rescue (ISAR) and Germany's Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) said they would resume their work as soon as Turkish civil protection agency AFAD classifies the situation as safe.

ISAR Operations Manager Steven Bayer said the security situation was slightly deteriorating as the days since the disaster wore on and this was typical in such circumstances.

"That's partly due to the fact that food is now running out, water supply is running out, and then people are out searching for food and water," he said, speaking at a camp for rescue workers in the town of Kirikhan.

"A second thing is that the hope that people had is now increasingly fading, and that hope can then also turn into anger."


Meanwhile, UN relief chief Martin Griffiths warned that the death toll was likely to at least double, and denounced a failure to provide sufficient aid for victims in war-torn northwestern Syria.

"We have so far failed the people in northwest Syria. They rightly feel abandoned. Looking for international help that hasn't arrived," Griffiths said on Twitter.

"My duty and our obligation is to correct this failure as fast as we can."

Tens of thousands of rescue workers continued to scour flattened neighborhoods in freezing weather that has deepened the misery of millions now in desperate need of aid.

Source(s): Reuters ,AFP

Search Trends