How the Caspian Region is Supporting Earthquake Relief in Turkiye
The terrible quakes in Turkiye and Syria galvanized over 100 nations to send helpers and aid, including all ten countries of the Caspian Region.
15-year-old Syrian Seher, extracted from under the rubble by rescue teams 208 hours later, in Hatay, Turkey, on February 14, 2023. Image: Umit Turhan/NurPhoto
It has been over 20 days since two severe earthquakes struck South Eastern Turkiye and Northern Syria, claiming over 50,000 lives. In Turkiye alone, the quakes affected around 20 million people in ten provinces, with roughly two and a half times as many deaths as in 1999, when 17,500 people lost their lives in the Istanbul earthquake.
“I lost more than 20 relatives,” Ali Bayındır, a UK-based Turkish researcher, told the Caspian Post. “My sister lives in Hatay [near the Syrian border]. She helped to sort out incoming food, clothes and aid at a local sports centre and tried to make sure it reached the earthquake survivors.”
It was in Hatay that a mother and her two children were rescued from the rubble after nearly 10 days in one of several remarkable stories that offered glimmers of hope. The challenges facing the country, however, are immense. In addition to the devastating human cost of the disaster, a report published by the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation has put the expected financial cost of the damage, including repairs, at a staggering $84.1 billion.