Ankara’s outspoken mayor on Tuesday warned that outside forces could be using sophisticated technology to try to trigger a manmade earthquake in a deliberate bid to harm Turkey’s fragile economy.
His comments were made after two quakes hit the western Canakkale province on Monday and Tuesday morning, measuring 5.3 and 5.2 magnitude respectively.
Just after the double destructive quake that hit Turkey on February 6, 2017, Melih Gokcek, who has been mayor of Ankara, the Turkish capital, since 1994, made the outlandish claims on Twitter.
In his tweets, Gokcek shared a video which claimed there were tools (HAARP) for causing manmade quakes, and he called all submarines and ships with large equipment to be taken under control of the authorities.
Gokcek said he had “researched” the two quakes and suggested they could have been caused by possible foreign interference.
“There was a ship conducting seismic research nearby. What this ship was researching and what country it belongs to must be solved,” he wrote.
The ultimate aim, he suggested, was to trigger an earthquake near Istanbul in a bid to stage an economic “coup”.
“At this moment, the coup aimed at Turkey is an earthquake near Istanbul to cause Turkey’s economic collapse,” he claimed.
It is not the first time that Gokcek, one of the more colourful members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has made such fantastic claims blaming foreign elements for conspiring to harm the country’s economy.
Istanbul itself lies in a major earthquake-prone zone and in 1999, a quake northwest of the city left 17,000 dead.