At least 29 people have died and thousands injured in eastern Turkey after a 6.7 magnitude earthquake rocked the region on Friday.
Officials said that rescue teams are searching for people who are trapped under the rubble. The environment ministry said the earthquake caused five buildings to collapse in Elazig, and heavily damaged a number of buildings in the area.
However, the country’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned of negative propaganda about the country being unprepared for earthquakes: “Do not listen to rumors, do not listen to anyone’s negative, contrary propaganda, and know that we are your servants,” Erdogan said during his visit to Elazig.
He also seems to have rejected the rescue teams offered by other countries, as well as by neighboring Greece, who is in conflict with Turkey over maritime boundaries and gas exploration rights: “Our state does not need anything”, Erdogan told reporters.
He later tweeted that all measures were being taken to “ensure that the earthquake that occurred in Elazig and was felt in many provinces is overcome with the least amount of loss”.
A total of 18 people were now thought to have died in Elazig, including two people who died of heart attacks.