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Opposition Istanbul Mayor Says Not Invited to Govt Quake Meeting

Istanbul’s opposition mayor Ekrem Imamoglu on Sunday claimed he was not invited to a meeting about measures to be taken after Turkey’s largest city was hit by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake this week.

The earthquake, whose epicentre was in the town of Silivri west of Istanbul, jolted the 15 million-strong city on Thursday, causing panic and prompting residents to evacuate buildings. Officials said eight people were lightly injured.

Turkish authorities held a meeting to hammer out a disaster response plan in Istanbul after the quake, which was hosted by Vice President Fuat Oktay.

Imamoglu, who was elected mayor of Istanbul in the June election from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said he did not attend the meeting because he was not invited.

“I want to call on state officials. The elections are over, they are behind us,” he told reporters in Istanbul.

“The priority issue for me is earthquake. Let’s produce solutions together,” he said.

Oktay however said: “The management of a disaster does not wait for an invitation”, in comments carried by the official Anadolu news agency.

“We did not have a chance to talk about this other than work … we manage a disaster here. We do not wait for an invitation,” he said.

Experts have predicted a major earthquake to hit Istanbul, which rang alarm bells after the latest tremor this week.

Imamoglu’s initial election win in March was cancelled after controversial claims of rigging by Turkey’s ruling party but he won a decisive victory in June.

His win put the opposition in control of Turkey’s economic powerhouse which has been a vital source of patronage for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s party for a quarter-century.

5.8-Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Istanbul

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