AFAD lambasted for charging crane fees after earthquake
Following the scandal of the Turkish Red Crescent selling tents to a relief organization just days after the massive earthquakes in Turkey, it has now been revealed that the state disaster management agency AFAD also charged money for renting cranes to earthquake survivors who were trying to clear the rubble to save their families.
Dozens of people in the second day of the earthquake paid up to 10,000 TL per hour to the cranes under AFAD's control, Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet reported.
The cranes were parked on the roadside. I begged them, I was trying to rescue my daughter, but they asked 10,000 TL per hour,” actor Ohan Aydin told Cumhuriyet.
AFAD, affiliated to the Interior Ministry, was criticized by people living across the earthquake-hit south for taking too long to arrive and not responding adequately. It has also faced accusations that it has become excessively centralized.
AFAD dismissed the comments, saying it provided the right response from the first moment. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged however that search efforts were not as fast as they would have liked them to be.