Turkey’s Devastating Earthquake


Anna Lucia Arguello, Staff Writer

Earthquakes are something we don’t think about often in Texas, beyond the occasional headline. This one, however, the world will be slow to forget. The border between Turkey and Syria was wrecked by the quake, measuring a 7.8 on the Richter scale and killing over a thousand. It’s a tragedy that world leaders have sought to address, and one that will have lasting consequences on an already disputed region. 

Syria has already been in conflict, beginning with a protest gone bad ten years ago. The criticisms of the current government were ignored and suppressed. Conflict continued to escalate, with rebels taking control of local governments and spreading the word of a future democratic system under their leadership. They were even backed by the United States and Kurdish forces for a while, but both withdrew their support a few years back. Hundreds of thousands died on both sides, and millions more were displaced by the conflict, made even worse by the lack of foreign support. The rebels had been pushed to a single base which was toppled in the quake. Economic crisis will go unaddressed, and regimes will go unchanged as the country struggles with a new obstacle. 

The UN has been working to send support to both countries, negotiating passage through Turkey to deliver supplies to Syria. Rebel territory is completely dependent on Turkish support right now, and people already relying on humanitarian aid have even less. Local Catholic churches have been converted into places to sleep, eat, and receive medical attention, an outreach that will hopefully make a more immediate difference. Many of Turkey’s schools were set to close for at least two weeks after the incident, allowing for people who lost their homes to figure something out. Many, due to damage and flooding, are projected to stay closed for much longer. It will likely take a long time for these areas to function normally once again.