Earthquake-hit Turkey hides mass COVID-19 pandemic deaths


On Thursday, the Turkish Institute of Statistics (TurkStat) released mortality statistics for 2020 and 2021. In 2020, when the pandemic began, he had 72,000 deaths, and another 130,000 in 2021, compared to the years before the pandemic. As of 2021, there were approximately 200,000 COVID-related deaths.

Children wearing face masks to protect against the coronavirus walk through the Kugl Public Garden in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, May 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

However, Turkey’s Ministry of Health claimed that the death toll from COVID-19 will reach 82,000 by the end of 2021. TurkStat has not yet released data on the number of deaths in 2022. Turkey’s death toll since the pandemic began was claimed to be 101,492.

However, as of December 27, 2022, the excess death toll had reached 319,000, according to calculations by Güçlü Yaman, member of the Pandemic Working Group of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB).

TurkStat has tried to stay out of the public eye by publishing a report it had previously unjustly postponed amid the earthquake disasters in Turkey and Syria. In his tweet on the matter, Yaman said:

He added: The important thing for them is to find a chaotic time to release the numbers. ”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government and entire political system failed to prepare for the expected earthquake and reacted too late, causing the deaths of more than 43,000 people.

However, similar to the cover-up of the actual number of deaths related to the pandemic, it is suspected that the death toll from the earthquake has been grossly underestimated. Osman Bilgin, the governor of Surnak, who was in charge of districts in the area hit by the earthquake, admitted that the actual death toll in Turkey alone could exceed 150,000.

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