Türkiye-Syria Earthquake

Elif CANTENAR

On Monday, 06.02.2023, at 04:17, Türkiye time, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 occurred
in the city of Kahramanmaraş in the southeast of the country. In addition to Kahramanmaraş, 10
provinces such as Kilis, Diyarbakır, Adana, Osmaniye, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Adıyaman, Malatya,
Hatay and Syria were the regions most affected by the earthquake. The earthquake, which caught
the people at night, asleep, in the cold, unprepared and described as the second highest intensity
earthquake in the last 100 years in Türkiye, was repeated at 13.24 in the afternoon, again in
Kahramanmaraş with a magnitude of 7.6. Aftershocks have been going on for days in the
surrounding provinces. The earthquake, which affected more than 13 million people, took place on
the Eastern Anatolian Fault.


While Türkiye was waiting for the Marmara earthquake, which is a big agenda today, the Southeast
Anatolian earthquake shook the whole country deeply. Surely, the cold weather conditions, the
unexpected time of the earthquake, the large number of cities affected by the earthquake and the
severity of the earthquake in this region, which is known to be not strong enough, have of course
adversely affected the speed of aid delivery. With the electricity and natural gas cuts, the decrease
in operator capacities and the closure of the access roads to the earthquake areas, there were
difficulties in the search and rescue efforts. Not only houses, many hospitals, police stations,
historical buildings and even the airport runway were destroyed. Thereupon, the great fire that
broke out in the containers at the Iskenderun Port of Hatay after the earthquake worried the public,
and efforts are underway to extinguish it. It has been decided that all schools will start the spring
semester at a later date and universities will continue their spring semester with distance education
in order to benefit from campus and dormitory facilities. Many technical teams sent by the state,
police, gendarmerie and soldiers, aid teams of municipalities in various provinces of Türkiye,
countless volunteers and aid associations took part in the search and rescue efforts. The people who
could not be in the earthquake area also supported with blood donations, donations, clothing and
needs. At the same time, many necessary needs such as tents, containers, mobile water vehicles,
generators and these have been met by government institutions, private companies, and NGOs.

Not only Türkiye, but the whole world is facing one of the greatest disasters of our time. Türkiye
formally appealed for international assistance after the earthquake. The Syrian National Earthquake
Center stated that it was the largest earthquake recorded in their history. 7 days of national
mourning was declared in Türkiye and the flags were drawn at half-mast. In his statement on the
second day of the earthquake, President Erdoğan stated that he received offers of assistance from
70 countries and 14 international organizations. He declared a state of emergency in the earthquake
area. The World Health Organization declared a Level 3 Emergency for this earthquake, the highest
level, and declared that the earthquake affected 23 million people. The UN Secretary General, on
the other hand, stated that this disaster is one of the greatest natural disasters of our time and
touched upon the seriousness of the earthquake. Two of the country’s leading airline companies
also helped citizens to evacuate by opening their flights from the earthquake zone to the use of
citizens free of charge. While construction equipment, aid trucks and medical teams continued their
hard work in the earthquake-affected areas, the aid collected was used for heating, shelter, and
nutrition after the necessary interventions for the citizens who were pulled out of the rubble.
Erdoğan stated that although there were some difficulties on the first day, dominance was achieved
on the second day. On the third day of the earthquake, transactions in the Turkish stock market
were stopped. The Minister of Justice stated that an investigation has been launched into those who
built the destroyed buildings in the earthquake zone. In addition, it was stated that the legal and
bureaucratic procedures concerning the earthquake area were postponed. For example, cases in the
region have been postponed for two months. The World Bank announced that it will provide
Türkiye with a resource of 1 billion 780 million dollars. In his speech on February 11, President
Erdoğan emphasized that this earthquake was 3 times bigger and 3 times more destructive than the
1999 Marmara earthquake. The Minister of Health, on the other hand, said that rabies and tetanus
vaccines were delivered to the earthquake region in order to prevent possible diseases. AFAD
(Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency) announced that almost 30,000 people died on
the seventh day of the earthquake. Search and rescue efforts are ongoing. And there are many
countries and international organizations that are still working on the technical team in the field of
search and rescue, as well as donations and condolences.

REFERENCES
AFAD, “Deprem Kataloğu”, Date accessed: 08.02.2023, https://deprem.afad.gov.tr/event-catalog
BBC NEWS TÜRKÇE, “6 Şubat 2023 Kahramanmaraş Depremi”, Date accessed: 12.01.2023,
https://www.bbc.com/turkce/topics/c383emwewmqt
CNN TÜRK, [@cnnturk]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter Profile]. Twitter. Date accessed: 12.01.2023,
from https://twitter.com/cnnturk
TRT HABER, “#Deprem Haberleri”, Date accessed: 12.01.2023, https://www.trthaber.com/
TRT HABER, [@trthaber]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter Profile]. Twitter. Date accessed: 12.01.2023,
from https://twitter.com/trthaber

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