Turkey Declares Emergency Rule, Death Toll Rises

(Bloomberg) —

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Turkey has declared a three-month state of emergency in areas hit by two powerful earthquakes earlier this week, giving the government more leeway for rescue and reconstruction efforts.

Emergency teams are racing against the clock to potentially rescue thousands of victims trapped in rubble after ten Turkish cities were attacked on Monday. The death toll in Turkey and neighboring Syria is nearing 8,000, while more than 11,000 buildings were damaged by the tremors, many trapped in freezing temperatures.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is overwhelmed by the scale of the logistical problems and the assistance needed to help the 13.4 million people living in the disaster-hit areas. Many countries have pledged help, including the United States.

The twin earthquakes, measuring 7.7 and 7.6 in magnitude, struck southeast Turkey and caused widespread destruction there and in neighboring Syria. Roads and airports were damaged while the flow of crude oil to a key export terminal was halted for more than 24 hours as a precaution.

Important Developments

  • Turkey orders crude oil flows to resume at Ceyhan terminal

  • CityLab Daily: The city hardest hit by the earthquake in Turkey

  • BTC oil port to remain closed until Wednesday after earthquake: port agent

  • Twin quakes in Turkey kill thousands: Middle East newsletter

(All times Istanbul, GMT +3)

Turkey death toll nears 6,000 (3:45 am)

Turkey’s vice president said the death toll in the country had risen to 5,894, local Anadolu News Agency reported. That brings the reported total in the country and neighboring Syria to nearly 8,000 as rescuers spend a second night searching the rubble for survivors.

Scenes of young children, a pregnant woman and other victims still being taken to safety underscore the thousands of people who have been rescued so far.

Death toll exceeds 5,000 (9:35 p.m.)

Turkey’s death toll rose to 5,434 with more than 31,000 injured, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Turkish Ministry of Finance allows companies to declare force majeure (8:11 p.m.)

Turkey’s Ministry of Finance and Treasury extended the deadline for paying taxes and other liabilities to the government for companies in the quake-hit areas to July 31.

Death toll in Turkey exceeds 4,500 (7:50 p.m.)

The death toll in Turkey rose to 4,544 with more than 26,000 injured, the civil protection agency AFAD said. Nearly 1,600 dead have been confirmed in Syria, including both government- and rebel-held areas, according to the Associated Press.

Egypt’s Sisi offers Erdogan his condolences and help (18:54)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi offered Turkey humanitarian aid over the tremors, according to a statement. Turkey and Egypt have recently started to normalize ties after years of strained relations.

Turkish Stocks Enter Bear Market (6:16 PM)

The benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 index closed 8.6% lower on Tuesday in a broad sell-off, with Turkish Airlines and refiner Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri AS weighing on the bar. The index, which is the worst-performing major stock market in the world this year, has fallen 20% from its peak on Jan. 2, entering a technical bear market.

The country’s market regulator Tuesday’s lifting of a temporary deposit rule that requires traders to hold stocks in their brokerage account to execute trades likely exacerbated the move, which was the biggest drop since March 2021.

Thousands grapple with devastation in northern Syria (5:51 p.m.)

In northern Syria, an area struggling with death, destruction and displacement from war and conflict for more than a decade, people tried to use limited resources to respond to the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and aftershocks. “This disaster is much bigger than us, we need state intervention,” Ismail Al-Abdullah, co-founder of the White Helmets Emergency Response Force, told Bloomberg.

Mohamed Hamze, spokesman for the Syrian American Medical Society, said there was an urgent need for medical and surgical supplies. He called on global actors to work with Turkey to open all key border crossings between Syria and Turkey to allow relief and rescue equipment, teams and supplies to flow in as soon as possible.

Around 4.4 million people live in north-west Syria. The area is controlled by a mishmash of rebel groups – some backed by Turkey after several cross-border offensives in recent years.

International relief efforts continue with UAE pledge (4:34 p.m.)

According to the state news agency WAM, the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, will grant $100 million in aid to earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey, which will be divided equally between the two countries.

Rescue teams from Romania, Switzerland, Azerbaijan and Lebanon have already been deployed to the earthquake zone, Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay said, as part of a broader international effort to respond to the crisis.

According to the EU Commission, the European Union has sent more than 1,150 rescue workers from 19 European countries.

Here are the oil pipelines affected by the earthquakes

Two affected pipelines transport oil from Azerbaijan and Iraq to Turkey’s Ceyhan terminal on the Mediterranean coast for export to world markets.

Turkey ordered rivers to resume following post-earthquake reviews. Iraq’s state-owned oil company said it hopes to resume Tuesday afternoon.

AK Party ruling lawmaker dead in earthquake (4:15 p.m.)

Erdogan’s ruling AK deputy Yakup Tas was killed in the earthquake in Adiyaman province, parliament spokesman Mustafa Sentop said on Twitter.

Turkey’s public spending could reach 5.5% of GDP (3:22 ​​p.m.)

According to Bloomberg Economics, post-quake disaster-related public spending, including recovery efforts, can amount to 5.5% of GDP. A potential government-backed loan program could result in a higher figure and violate government budget targets. The calculations take into account government spending after previous high-magnitude earthquakes.

Erdogan said his government initially allocated 100 billion lire ($5.3 billion) in resources to the disaster area.

Erdogan declares a state of emergency (2:53 p.m.)

The Turkish President has declared a three-month state of emergency in ten provinces to deal with the consequences of the twin earthquakes.

The emergency rule, which has to be approved by Parliament, would allow the government to take extraordinary security and financial measures in the affected areas.

Turkish Stocks Sell-off Deepens (2:27 p.m.)

Turkey’s benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 Index extended its decline to 7.8% as it resumed trading after triggering a second market-wide circuit breaker at 7%. Shares continued a sell-off that began Monday after the two big earthquakes, with 97 stocks falling.

The 10-year government bond yield rose 55 basis points to 11.57%, a 12-week high.

Turkey Orders Resumption of Crude Oil Flow to Ceyhan Terminal (11:20 am)

Turkey has ordered the resumption of oil flows to its Ceyhan export terminal on the Mediterranean, according to an official with direct knowledge of the matter. The state pipeline operator stopped the flow as a precaution Monday morning and ordered it to restart after completing its checks, the official said, adding that the flow will begin shortly.

Iraq hopes to pump oil through Turkey again Tuesday afternoon after security checks revealed no damage.

Turkish helpers, ships, planes in civil protection (10:40 a.m.)

Turkey said it deployed a total of 24,443 rescue workers, 10 ships and more than 50 planes to pull casualties from damaged buildings and evacuate some of the injured from the disaster area.

Oil Prices Rise Due to Ceyhan Export Halt (10:24 am)

Oil prices rose on Tuesday in part due to an export halt from Turkey’s Ceyhan terminal on the Mediterranean Sea.

The Ceyhan facility, which serves Azerbaijani oil, will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, Tribeca Shipping, a port agent, said on Monday. It’s unclear if the rest of the terminal — including the parts handling Iraqi flows — will also close for this period.

Iskenderun Port Blaze Tobt (6:00 AM)

Firefighters have been battling blazes in a section of the port of Iskenderun on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, damaging an area where a number of shipping containers were located, state agency Anadolu reported.

–With support from Gina Turner, Firat Kozok, Beril Akman, Ugur Yilmaz, Tugce Ozsoy, Taylan Bilgic, Inci Ozbek, Sam Dagher, Kateryna Kadabashy and Demetrios Pogkas.

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