Kahramanmaraş earthquake, which caused many casualties and damage to historical monuments in Türkiye

Gaziantep Castle damaged in the earthquake.
Photo: AA
In the earthquake that occurred in the center of Kahramanmaraş historical artifacts were damaged as well as casualties.

In the earthquake that occurred in the center of Kahramanmaraş Pazarcık and was felt in many surrounding provinces, historical artifacts were damaged as well as casualties.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7, 7 km below the ground, occurred last night at 4.17 pm in Pazarcık district of Kahramanmaraş province in Türkiye. Then, at 13.24, another earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 occurred in Elbistan district of Kahramanmaraş. The strong tremor was felt in many cities including Malatya, Adana, Hatay, Gaziantep, Diyarbakır and Adıyaman.

3 thousand 549 people have lost their lives and 20 thousand 426 people have been injured so far in the earthquake that has been effective in 10 provinces. Over 8 thousand citizens were also rescued. Search and rescue operations continue in the regions.

In Gaziantep, where the earthquake was felt between 6.5 and 6.4 magnitude, the historical Gaziantep Castle, one of the symbols of the city, was partially destroyed.

The bastion in the southeast of the castle, which was built on a hill in the center of Gaziantep, and the strip around it were damaged. Stone fragments also fell from the castle. Iron railings around the castle were seen scattered on the surrounding sidewalks. Some bastions in the eastern, southern and southeastern parts of the historical Gaziantep Castle collapsed due to the earthquake, while debris was scattered on the road.

It is not known when the castle was built. It is only known that it was used for observation purposes during the Hittite period. The castle has been restored many times throughout history and took its last form with a restoration in the early 2000s.

The retaining wall next to the castle also collapsed. Large cracks were seen in some bastions.

In addition, the dome and the eastern wall of the historic Shirvani Mosque, known to have been built in the 17th century and located just southwest of the Gaziantep castle, partially collapsed.

Shirvani Mosque damaged in the earthquake. Photo: Türkiye Gazetesi

UNESCO was deeply saddened by reports of damage to Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman historical monuments in Türkiye, which are listed as UNESCO cultural heritage sites. UNESCO stressed that it will mobilize its own experts and cooperating institutions to quickly inventory the damage and protect these sites.

May the people who lost their lives in this earthquake that deeply saddened us all rest in peace. We wish a speedy recovery to those injured. We will overcome this difficult period with unity and solidarity. 

Airplanes took off from Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Greece, Greece, Lebanon, Israel, Germany, France, Czechia, Italy, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Croatia, South Korea, Qatar, India, Russia, the Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan and Japan – in short, from all over the world. The European Union activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism after the earthquake on Monday. The mechanism is used to prepare for and respond to natural disasters such as fires, floods and earthquakes (budgeted at around €368.5 million for 2014-2020).

Our hearts and prayers are with the rescue teams and all our citizens who are waiting to be rescued under the rubble, and those who face the cold outside.

Cover photo: AA

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