Following an earthquake in the Aegean Sea late on Monday afternoon, Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Melih Gökçek said it was an artificial quake, implying that the temblor was potentially created by foreign powers.
“A magnitude-6.2 earthquake happened in İzmir. Scientists say it could get even worse. I’m thinking this might be an artificial earthquake. I’m not saying this is the case. But I mean this is a serious possibility that should be researched. Were there any seismic exploration vessels near the epicenter? If yes, to which country do they belong?” Gökçek said in a Twitter message.
An earthquake registering 6.2 on the Richter scale hit Turkey’s western region on Monday, with shock waves felt in İstanbul and neighboring provinces. According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), the epicenter of the quake was in the Aegean Sea near the Karaburun district of İzmir, and it took place at 3:28 p.m. local time, followed by two magnitude-4.9 aftershocks at 3:35 p.m.
The İzmir Governor’s Office announced in a statement that there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Gökçek had earlier this year tweeted about an “artificial” earthquake in Turkey’s Marmara region that he said was planned to cause economic destruction in the country. He had also warned last summer about an earthquake plot by the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15.