Wildest Earthquake Destroys Turkey And Syria

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On Monday, February 6, 2023, two consecutive earthquakes unleashed shockwaves hundreds of kilometers away, altering the course of millions of people’s lives in Turkey and Syria. More than 12,000 people have died as a result of the earthquakes as of this writing, and many more are still missing or gravely injured. 23 million people were reportedly affected by the calamity, according to the World Health Organization.

At least 6,000 buildings fell, many of which had occupants still inside. Rescue efforts remain the primary priority, with 25,000 people deployed in Turkey and thousands more brought in from abroad. However, a fierce winter storm is now posing a threat to both the lives of those who have survived and those who are still trapped beneath the wreckage.

Rescue workers and volunteers conduct search and rescue operations in the rubble of a collasped building, in Diyarbakir on February 6, 2023, after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country’s south-east. – The combined death toll has risen to over 1,900 for Turkey and Syria after the region’s strongest quake in nearly a century. Turkey’s emergency services said at least 1,121 people died in the earthquake, with another 783 confirmed fatalities in Syria. (Photo by ILYAS AKENGIN / AFP) (Photo by ILYAS AKENGIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Syria, which has been devastated by a 12-year war and terrorism, is the country least equipped to handle such a disaster. The nation continues to be subject to Western sanctions, and its infrastructure has been severely eroded. Many of the impacted areas are home to thousands of refugees or internally displaced people.

A Very Important Year For Turkey

Turkey is approaching a presidential election on May 14, thus this year will be a crucial turning point for the country. Whether current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan retains his position or not, the outcome of that election will have a significant impact on Turkey’s populace, economy, currency, and democracy.

How Erdogan responds to the tragedy—and potential calls for accountability on why so many structures were not adequately built to withstand such tremors—will now be crucial to his political destiny.

HATAY, TURKEY – FEBRUARY 15:A man watches a search and rescue operation from amid a pile of rubble on February 15, 2023 in Hatay, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of February 6, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and has killed more than 30,000 people. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Mike Harris, the founder of Cribstone Strategic Macro, said on Tuesday that there could be a reaction if the rescue effort is handled poorly and people become irate. ” Naturally, the buildings and which ones have collapsed are the other problem. There may be severe repercussions for Erdogan if these were constructed under the new norms but without government oversight. Erdogan has so lost control of the story.

To address the country’s rising cost of living, Erdogan called for an early election in May. Local inflation was over 57% at the time, down from over 80% between August and November. According to several commentators, the action demonstrates Erdogan’s desire to win a second term in office before his contentious economic policies backfire.

Turkey’s Economic Anxiety

High energy prices worldwide, the Covid-19 pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, and, primarily, Erdogan’s economic policies, which kept interest rates low despite skyrocketing inflation and drove the value of the Turkish lira against the dollar to record lows, have all contributed to Turkey’s economic decline.

Turkey’s foreign exchange holdings have significantly decreased recently, and Ankara’s current account deficit has widened. In the past year, the Turkish lira lost about 30% of its value versus the US dollar, which had a significant negative impact on Turkish consumers’ spending power and Erdogan’s popularity.

The opposition parties in Turkey have not yet announced their nominee. Ekrem Imamoglu, the mayor of Istanbul and the strongest candidate, was detained and given a political ban in December after being accused of crimes that his supporters claim was only intended to keep him from running for president.

The NATO’s and Turkey’s Influential Roles on the World Stage

Given Erdogan’s function as a middleman between Russia and Ukraine, Turkey’s future has an impact on the conflict in Ukraine internationally. The main NATO member still preventing Sweden and Finland from joining the potent defense alliance is Turkey.

Additionally, Ankara is mediating the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a Russian naval blockade on Ukrainian Black Sea ports allowing essential grain supplies to be transferred from Ukraine to the rest of the globe. All of these will be influenced by Erdogan’s attitude to the earthquakes and subsequent electoral performance.

After the earthquakes, Western pressure on Turkey’s membership in NATO will lessen somewhat, but only temporarily, according to Sinan Ulgen, the director of the Istanbul-based Center for Economics and Foreign Policy.

For the time being, nations from all over the world including Western allies are sending teams to Turkey to assist with disaster relief. To help people in need and reconstruct all the places devastated by the earthquakes, Ankara will need to implement significant public spending.


Turkey is facing a major economic crisis due to the devastating earthquake. Thousands of people died and many people are still under rescue. It is surely one of the greatest destructions in years and a threat to other countries too. Our prayers are with Turkey and the people who have to go through such hard times.

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