(Bloomberg) --

The death toll from Monday’s devastating earthquakes has risen to 12,391 in Turkey, according to the country’s disaster management agency. About 2,000 more have been reported dead in Syria, according to Turkish state-run broadcaster TRT.

The Turkish government has told Twitter that access will be re-enabled shortly, Elon Musk tweeted. Access is currently blocked, with the government saying it had asked the social-media platform to do more against disinformation in the aftermath of the disaster.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey is planning two new border openings with Syria to allow more aid into the neighboring country. 

Turkey’s stock exchange canceled trades made on Wednesday and said the market would be closed for five business days. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency for provinces hit by the quakes.

Key Developments

  • Erdogan Vows Building Blitz to Renew Quake-Hit Areas Within Year
  • Turkey Halts Stock Trading for Five Days and Cancels Some Trades
  • Twitter Access Blocked in Turkey Days After Massive Earthquakes
  • Erdogan Wants Elections in May Despite Earthquake Fallout

(All times Istanbul, GMT +3)


Death Toll Rises to 12,391, Turkish Disaster Management Agency Says (5:00 a.m.)

The death toll following Monday’s devastating earthquakes has risen to 12,391 across Turkey and Syria, according to the Turkish disaster management agency known as AFAD.

Turkey Cites ‘Pledge’ from Twitter on Curbing Disinformation (12:27 a.m.)

Turkey’s state media said early Thursday that Twitter representatives “pledged” to collaborate with the nation to curb disinformation on the social-media platform.

Twitter executives agreed to do more against bots and prevent false news, Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu reported, without saying how it obtained its information.

Musk, Turkey at Odds Over Twitter (11:02 p.m.)

Musk, Twitter’s CEO, said in a tweet that he is “reaching out to understand more” about the Turkish government’s decision to restrict access to the platform.

Minutes earlier, Turkey had issued a statement, saying that officials on Wednesday asked Twitter to do more against disinformation in the aftermath of the quake.

Border Gates With Syria (9:10 p.m.)

Cavusoglu, the foreign minister, said Turkey plans to open two new border crossings with Syria. 

 “Some European countries and Turkey are having issues delivering aid to Syrian due to weak infrastructure affected by the quakes,” Cavusoglu said.

European Union Steps In (8:00 p.m.)

Following the quakes, the European Union said it will provide additional emergency support to both countries through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and emergency humanitarian assistance worth €6.5 million. 

Turkey Death Toll Rises to 9,057 (6:19 p.m.)

The number of fatalities in Turkey rose to 9,057, Erdogan said, bringing total deaths including Syria to over 11,600.

The number of injured in Turkey is 52,979, he added.

Turkish Stocks to Restart Trading on Feb. 15 (5:24 p.m.)

The Turkish stock exchange canceled trades from February 8 and said trading would resume on February 15, according to a statement.

Read More: Turkey Halts Trading in Stock Market After $35 Billion Wipeout

Twitter Access Restricted in Turkey, Monitor Says (5:05 p.m.)

Access to Twitter was restricted on multiple internet providers in Turkey on Wednesday, internet monitor NetBlocks said, citing real-time data.

Users can still use virtual private networks, or VPNs, to bypass the restrictions, it added.

The Presidency published a “disinformation bulletin” on Tuesday criticizing some social media posts that questioned the extent of the state response to the earthquakes. Main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said on Twitter that the government was behind the restriction.

Ukraine Sends Rescue Team to Turkey (3:30 p.m.)

Ukraine sent a 90-person squad to Turkey to conduct rescue operations over the next 10 days, Volodymyr Demchuk, the representative of Ukrainian State Emergency Service said at the press conference in Kyiv. 

“If necessary, the mission will be extended,” he said, adding that the team has experience working with rubble after Russian rocket and drone attacks on Ukraine.

Erdogan Promises Reconstruction Within a Year (3:16 p.m.)

Erdogan promised to rebuild quake-hit provinces within a year.

“If anyone prefers not to stay in tents, we can transfer them to hotels in Alanya, Mersin and Antalya” on the Mediterranean coast, Erdogan said on a visit to Kahramanmaras, the first stop on his planned tour of the affected provinces.

He announced 10,000 lira ($531) handouts for each family affected by the quakes.

Read more: Erdogan Vows Building Blitz to Renew Quake-Hit Areas Within Year

Fire at Iskenderun Port Put Out, Containers Being Cooled (2:55 p.m.)

A fire at container storage site in Turkey’s Iskenderun port has been extinguished after fire boats and helicopters were deployed to the area on the Mediterranean coast, a person with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

The fire at Iskenderun port, owned by Limak Group, started on Monday after the earthquakes.

Iraq Says One of Three Bays For Its Oil at Ceyhan Is Open (2:10 p.m.)

Only one of three bays for Iraq’s oil at the Turkish port of Ceyhan is open, according to SOMO, the Iraqi state crude-marketing firm.

The other two are still being inspected, Mohammed Saadoon, a SOMO official, told Bloomberg.

Erdogan Wants Elections in May Despite Earthquake Fallout (11:00 a.m.)

Erdogan is working on the assumption that general elections will be held in Turkey three months from now despite twin earthquakes devastating much of the southeast. Officials familiar with the discussions said Erdogan is planning to hold the vote on May 14 as originally planned.

BP Says Turkish Port of Ceyhan Still Not Loading BTC Oil (10:57a.m.)

Exports of crude oil via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline are continuing as normal, but barrels are not being loaded onto tankers at the Turkish port, Tamam Bayalti, a spokesperson in BP’s Baku office, said by phone.

Turkey Banking Sector Loan Exposure (10:18 a.m.)

Turkish banking sector’s loan exposure in the earthquake zone is more than 500 billion lira ($26.5 billion), less than 10% of total loans, according to Bloomberg Intelligence calculations.

Turkey Restarts Crude Oil Loadings at Ceyhan Terminal (9:02 a.m.)

Turkish pipeline operator Botas restarted flows of crude oil to the Ceyhan export terminal on the Mediterranean coast late on Tuesday, an official with direct knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

Ship loadings from the terminal, which exports Azerbaijani and Iraqi oil, resumed around midnight, they added.

Botas had halted oil flows to the terminal after Monday’s first quake to inspect the facility, but no leaks or damage were found.

Turkey Deploys Commandos in Quake Zone (7:50 a.m.)

The Turkish military has been sending thousands of commandos and other units to the quake zone from barracks located in the country’s west and Cyprus. 

Before the most recent period of mobilization began, 7,500 soldiers were already helping rescue operations, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said late Tuesday.

--With assistance from Asli Kandemir, Demetrios Pogkas, Khalid Al-Ansary, Kerim Karakaya, Selcan Hacaoglu, Firat Kozok, Beril Akman, Ugur Yilmaz, Patrick Sykes, Tugce Ozsoy, Olesia Safronova and Alyssa McDonald.

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