Turkish government faces criticism over handling of earthquakes

The Turkish government is facing growing criticism of its handling of the devastating earthquakes that left more than 50,000 people dead in Turkey and Syria.

The magnitude 7.8 quake on February 6 and ensuing powerful tremors left at least 44,374 people dead in Turkey, and 5,914 in Syria.

Another magnitude 5.2 quake hit the southeastern Turkish province of Malatya on Monday. Authorities said it killed one person, injured 110 others and caused 29 buildings to collapse.

Three weeks after the quakes, which left more than 1.9 million people homeless, government officials are under fire for their initial response. Many also say the government should have taken measures to make buildings more resilient to earthquakes.

There was a clash between demonstrators and security officers in Istanbul on Sunday. In a separate incident, fans chanted demands for the government to resign during a soccer match at a stadium in the city.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized for the government's sluggish response to the disaster during a visit to Adiyaman, one of the hard-hit areas, on Monday.

He said officials were unable to work the way they wanted to in the first few days, due to bad weather and challenges caused by damaged infrastructure.

Erdogan stressed that the government will do everything it can to rebuild the country.