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Over 45,000 Turks killed in 2023 earthquakes, TurkStat data shows

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A total of 45,784 Turkish citizens were killed in two powerful earthquakes that hit Turkey last year, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) shows.

The magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 earthquakes affected 11 provinces in the country’s south and southeast on February 6, 2023, killing close to 60,000 people in Turkey and parts of Syria and leaving millions homeless.

TurkStat released its “Death and Causes of Death Statistics, 2023” on Friday.

According to the data, a total of 45,784 Turkish citizens lost their lives in the 2023 earthquake, corresponding to 12.3 percent of the total number of deaths last year, which is 525,814.

TurkStat said its data does not include the Syrians who are under temporary protection in Turkey and were killed in the earthquakes.

The statistics come after Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said during a press briefing at Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) headquarters in Ankara on the eve of the anniversary of the disaster that it claimed the lives of 53,537 people in Turkey, revising a previous figure of 50,783.

The difference between the death tolls is because TurkStat data only covers Turkish citizens who were affected by the earthquakes.

Yerlikaya’s statement was made in the wake of a debate about the true death toll of the quakes, with different figures coming out from officials.

Out of the 525,814 Turks who died last year, 53.9 percent were male and 46.1 percent were female.

The crude death rate, which shows the number of deaths per thousand people, was 6.2 per thousand in 2023.

The data also showed that when analyzed by causes of death, diseases of the circulatory system ranked first, with 33.4 percent of fatalities in 2023. This was followed by neoplasms (benign or malignant tumors), 15 percent, and respiratory system diseases, 13.2 percent.

Turkey’s population stood at 85.3 million at the end of 2023.

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