"380,000 investors robbed as trading continued after quake"

"380,000 investors robbed as trading continued after quake"
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Kemal Kilicdaroglu called for reimbursement of investors living in the earthquake zone for the losses they suffered as Borsa Istanbul did not suspend trading after the quake and equities plummeted.

The leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said that 380,000 people living in the earthquake zone were "robbed" as Istanbul stock exchange did not suspend trading for two days after the earthquake on early 6 February.

Turkey's Borsa Istanbul suspended trading on 8 February, only after a further 7% slide slide in the main index, and Wednesday's trades were cancelled. Still, to Tuesday's close the country's benchmark index fell dramatically from its Friday close.

Turkish business media Dunya said the benchmark index fell 8.62% from the close on 3 February to the close on 7 February.

Among the rare equities that rose in the two days were the shares of construction companies and cement producers.

CHP leader Kilicdaroglu visited the headquarters of the Capital Markets Board (SPK), Turkey's financial regulatory and supervisory agency, on Monday.

His request for a meeting rejected by SPK president Ibrahim Omer Gonul, Kilicdaroglu told reporters in front of the offices that they will not allow people being robbed and that the officials who hold the responsibility for the victims' losses should immediately resign.

"We have never allowed anybody to be robbed, and in particular I will definitely not allow a robbery against small investors in the earthquake zone, a robbery carried out while they were trapped under the rubble," he said.

"Around 380,000 investors living in the earthquake zone have been robbed. What's robbing a person, an earthquake victim during the earthquake! Everybody should strongly object to this. And this was done under the protection of an institution!"

Kilicdaroglu added that the losses of earthquake victims at the stock exchange should be reimbursed.

Trading in Borsa Istanbul is due to restart on Wednesday, and many experts say it should be further postponed as the investors in the earthquake zone will continue to face disadvantages.

Tens of thousands of victims are estimated to be still trapped under the rubble in the provinces hit by the twin earthquakes on 6 February, and power, telecommunication and natural gas networks have been damaged by the quake in several areas.