Last Updated: Wed Oct 26, 2011 17:30 pm (KSA) 14:30 pm (GMT)

Aid trucks looted in quake-hit Turkey

A resident, affected by the earthquake, collects belongings from a collapsed building in the eastern Turkish city of Van. (Reuters)
A resident, affected by the earthquake, collects belongings from a collapsed building in the eastern Turkish city of Van. (Reuters)

Seventeen aid trucks belonging to the Turkish Red Crescent were looted in quake-hit eastern Turkey, the organization’s head Ahmet Lutfi Aker told AFP on Wednesday.

“Looters and raiders who appear during every quake incident have been found here too. Our 17 trucks were looted on Tuesday and Monday,” in Van city centre and the town of Ercis, Aker said.

Local police sources in Van province also said looting incidents had taken place.

People in Ercis, which bore the full brunt of the quake, told AFP unidentified individuals had stopped a truck carrying tents.

They seized the tents and assaulted the truck driver, they said, adding that the equipment would likely be sold on the blackmarket.

Earlier Wednesday dozens of survivors, furious at not receiving aid supplies after the devastating earthquake, raided trucks carrying food and blankets in the city of Van, local officials said.

Anger is rising among those made homeless by Sunday's 7.2-magnitude quake at the slowness of the relief effort. Three days after the quake, many are still without proper shelter or food supplies, particularly in remote villages.

On Wednesday Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reversed an initial refusal of help and asked for outside assistance, admitting that important “failures” in the first 24 hours after the quake hit had prevented vital aid from getting through.

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