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Erdogan declares seven-day national mourning in Türkiye over deadly quakes

Türkiye will observe seven days of national mourning after deadly earthquakes hit several southeastern provinces, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced.

“Due to the earthquakes that took place in our country on February 6, a national mourning period was declared for seven days. Our flag will be hoisted at half-mast until sunset on Sunday, February 12, in all our country and foreign representations,” Erdogan said on Twitter.

At least 1,651 people were killed and 11,119 others injured in 10 provinces due to two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye on Monday.

Early Monday morning, a 7.7 earthquake jolted Kahramanmaras and strongly shook several neighbouring provinces, including Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay, and Kilis.

Later, at 13.24 pm (1024GMT), a 7.6 magnitude quake also centred in Kahramanmaras struck the region.

After the earthquake, an “air aid corridor” was created by the Turkish Armed Forces to deliver search and rescue teams to the region.

“We mobilised our planes to send medical teams, search and rescue teams, and their vehicles to the earthquake zone. We have maximised the readiness of our aircraft to provide the necessary transportation service,” National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said.

He later announced that a naval personnel transport ship would dock at the port of Iskenderun in Hatay later in the night to carry those injured to hospitals in Mersin province, about 140 kilometres (87 miles) west.

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