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Opposition municipality’s fundraising website for earthquake victims under cyberattack: mayor

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A fundraising website set up by a municipality run by the opposition in Turkey’s west to help the victims of powerful earthquakes earlier this month has been subjected to close to 4 million cyberattacks overnight, according to the mayor.

The İzmir Municipality, run by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), launched a fundraising website for victims of two major earthquakes that struck on Feb. 6 and affected 11 provinces in Turkey’s south and southeast. The earthquakes, which have claimed the lives of more than 43,000 people, according to the most recent official figures, also left 1.5 million people homeless, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said in a statement.

İzmir Mayor Tunç Soyer said following a fundraiser in İzmir on Wednesday evening that was broadcast live on Halk TV and featured numerous celebrities, 3,700,000 cyberattacks were carried out on the municipality’s fundraising website, “Bir Kira Bir Yuva” (One Rent One Home), overnight.

“This is a fight of good against evil,” Soyer said.

The aim of the fundraiser was to help house earthquake victims and pay their rent for a period of time. As a result of the campaign, sufficient funds were raised to pay the rent of 33,098 families for one year in addition to financing the basic needs of thousands of other families.

Soyer said the TL 330 million ($17.4) raised in the campaign was far more than they expected.

Opposition parties have claimed that their relief efforts in the earthquake zone were being obstructed by government agencies and that in some instances assistance collected by the opposition parties has been seized by the government.

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