AKP, MHP downvote motions calling for earthquake research commissions

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Tuesday voted against motions by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) calling for the formation of earthquake research commissions.

The HDP proposal for a commission, which would examine precautions to be taken ahead of and steps to follow during and after earthquakes, saw support from the CHP and opposition centre-right Good ( İYİ) Party, but was downvoted by the ruling alliance, Birgün newspaper reported.

The CHP proposal for a commission to prepare and renovate buildings for earthquake preparedness was also downvoted by the AKP-MHP bloc, which maintains 180 seats of the total 312, it said. 

The votes follow a deadly 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country’s eastern province of Elazığ on Friday, killing 41 people and injuring over 1,500. The earthquake was followed by 948 aftershocks in the area, of which 21 were above magnitude 4.

Turkey sits on two major fault lines and has a history of powerful earthquakes, including a 1999 earthquake in the western city of İzmit, which claimed the lives of 17,000 people.