Amid the steadily rising toll in Monday's devastating earthquake and grown dismay over the government's response, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said that it was "not possible to be prepared for a disaster this big", but now the situation was under control, media reports said.
Visiting Hatay, one of the region's hardest hit by the earthquake, he told reporters the official death toll had climbed to 9,057, the BBC reported.
Defending his government's response, he hit at those claiming they had not seen any security or rescue personnel.
"This is a time for unity, solidarity. In a period like this, I cannot stomach people conducting negative campaigns for political interest," he added.
Visiting the badly-impacted city of Kahramanmaras, he told residents that the rescue effort was now "under control" and "getting easier", blaming initial delays to the government response on damaged roads and airports hampering the delivery of emergency aid.
Amid criticism from opposition figures and on the ground, Turkey is said to restricted access to Twitter, the BBC reported, citing internet monitoring service NetBlocks.
NetBlocks tweeted that real-time network data showed a restriction of the social media site across numerous major internet providers. (KB/IANS)