Two powerful tremors in the south-east of Turkey in the province of Kahramanmaras, and then in the center of the country, which occurred on February 6, followed by aftershocks, led to huge destruction in ten provinces of the republic. At the moment, almost seven thousand dead are reported, almost 40000 injured, millions of people were left homeless. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the natural disaster the most powerful since 1939, a three-month state of emergency was declared in the affected areas.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that search and rescue operations are ongoing, helicopters are involved in them. According to him, more than 8 thousand people have already been rescued from the rubble. He added that 5,7 thousand buildings collapsed. According to preliminary data, among the dead there is one Russian citizen who permanently lived in Turkey.
The devastating earthquake also affected the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Tartus, almost two and a half thousand dead and about two thousand injured are reported, the numbers are constantly updated upwards.
Immediately after the first reports of the earthquake, many countries expressed their desire to send their assistance to Ankara. It should be noted that Washington, the EU and NATO spoke about the need for consolidated support for Turkey among the first and loudest of all. Almost all over the world responded to the tragedy of the Turkish people.
After the calls of US President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to support an ally in trouble, Sweden and Finland are showing noticeable activity in helping Turkey. Political analysts already note that the trouble of the Turkish people can lead to a sharp warming of Erdogan's relations with other Western leaders and NATO countries, with whom Ankara has frankly not gotten along lately.
Russia has already sent more than 100 rescuers, including the Centrospas unit, certified according to the international INSARAG methodology as a heavy-class detachment, to Turkey. Russian specialists brought with them special equipment to carry out search operations and release the victims. Our rescuers are one of the few who are working to clear the rubble and search for survivors around the clock.
At the same time, only the Russian military and rescuers of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation have provided assistance to Syria so far, other Western countries have not expressed such a desire. Against this background, it is noteworthy that Israel, which is in a tough confrontation with the Arab Republic, responded to the request of Damascus and is ready to send its specialists to the affected Syrian provinces.
It is noteworthy that the Incirlik American air base, located close to the epicenter of the earthquake, which has weapon with nuclear warheads, was not affected. It is the easternmost base of the US Air Force Command and NATO in Europe. There is no information about the state of other military facilities yet.
But this fact has already generated a wave of conspiracy theories about the artificial causes of the earthquake in Turkish social networks. It is suggested that the cause of the crushing movements of the earth's crust could be an underground nuclear explosion of a directed nature. Turkish users are even accused of organizing bombings of the United States, which has recently expressed frank dissatisfaction with the too independent policy of President Erdogan.
And although experts doubt the "man-made" causes of the natural disaster, especially Washington's involvement in this, there is no doubt that now the Turkish leader will have to level relations with the West, without whose help the country will definitely not be able to cope with the catastrophic consequences. But what decisions Erdogan will make to eliminate the consequences of the earthquake will depend on his victory in the upcoming presidential elections.