Authorities preparing to evict victims of devastating February earthquakes from temporary housing  

A local resident walks past a destroyed building in Hatay, on February 11, 2023, after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country's southeast. - Rescuers pulled out children on February 10, 2023, from the rubble of the Turkey-Syria earthquake that struck on February 6, 2023, as the toll approached 23,000 and a winter freeze compounded the suffering for nearly one million people estimated to be in urgent need of food. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP)

The Ankara Governor’s Office issued an order on Friday to evict victims of February 6 earthquakes from temporary housing, the Birgün daily reported.

Turkey’s most powerful earthquake in almost 100 years, which struck near the city of Gaziantep in the early hours of February 6, has so far claimed the lives of more than 50,000 people in Turkey in addition to injuring more than 100,000. Close to 220,000 disaster victims have been evacuated from the region to date, according to the latest official figures.

Thousands of people were left without homes as their houses were either demolished during the earthquake or were too damaged for habitation. Victims were directed to state-owned social facilities, university dormitories and guesthouses where they have been living since the disaster. 

Those who were able to find temporary housing are now once again facing homelessness as authorities have not presented them with other housing options. 

One victim staying in a state-owned facility in Ankara said he has been frantically searching for a solution but to no avail. “I have been calling the authorities, but nobody is offering any solutions,” he said. “They just told us that we need to vacate the facilities by Monday [today] and that we would be evicted if necessary.”

Victims said it was difficult to find private housing in big cities and that although they were promised help by the government, these turned out to be false promises. 

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