9.1 C
Frankfurt am Main

Massive earthquakes damage historic buildings in Turkey, Syria

Must read

Major earthquakes in Turkey and Syria on Monday that killed more than 11,000 people have left a trail of destruction in their wake, with several historic buildings and landmarks suffering severe damage, according to local media reports.

Monday’s 7.8-magnitude quake and 7.6-magnitude temblor that followed caused damage to several World Heritage sites, UNESCO has said. In addition to damage to the Old City of Aleppo in Syria and the fortress in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır, at least three other World Heritage sites may have been affected, according to UNESCO.

The famous Neolithic site of Göbekli Tepe in Şanlıurfa province, which is home to 10,000-year-old megaliths, the world’s oldest; Nemrut Dağ, one of Turkey’s most iconic attractions due to huge statues that are part of an ancient royal tomb built high on a mountain; and the Neo-Hittite archeological site of Arslantepe outside Malatya, a city that was also severely affected by the earthquakes, are sites of concern to UNESCO.

The destruction is not limited to World Heritage sites. The earthquakes damaged or partially destroyed historic sites such as Gaziantep Castle.

The castle, dating to the second century AD, in the center of the Turkish city of Gaziantep was partially destroyed, with many of its walls and watchtowers leveled and other parts damaged.

The 17th century Şirvani Mosque in Gaziantep was also partially destroyed. The mosque, one of the oldest in Gaziantep, saw its eastern wall and dome collapse in the quake.



The earthquake also destroyed the minaret of the 18th-century Karagöz Mosque in the city as well as the west wall of a centuries-old hotel called Bayaz Han.

The quakes also damaged the Grand Mosques of Kahramanmaraş, Adıyaman and Şanlıurfa, which all bear the same name and date back to the 15th-16th centuries.

The dome of the 17th-century Yeni Mosque in the city of Malatya collapsed in the recent earthquakes. This mosque has long been hit by earthquakes, destroyed in an 1894 quake and damaged by one in 1964.

In the Antakya and İskenderun districts in the southern province of Hatay, the quakes destroyed or damaged several historic churches. St. Paul Orthodox Church in Antakya collapsed, with the facade appearing to be destroyed. In İskenderun, the Cathedral of the Annunciation, also known as the Alexandrian Catholic Church, was also significantly damaged.



The Antakya Synagogue, built in 1890 in southern Turkey, was damaged in the earthquakes that devastated the country on Monday.


Rabbi Mendy Chitrik, who heads the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States based in İstanbul, recovered Torah scrolls from the synagogue. “The walls have cracks,” he said in a telephone interview with Haaretz about the synagogue, which was built in 1890.

The synagogue served the few remaining members of the ancient city’s once-thriving, 2,300-year-old Jewish community — now made up mostly of descendants of Syrian Jews, which by the 2010s had dwindled to fewer than 20 members.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
More News
Latest News