ISTANBUL, 11 February 2023 (TON): 6th February 2023, earthquake struck southern and central Turkey, and northern and western Syria. Turkey has declared national mourning for seven days after deadly earthquakes. Thousands of local and international rescue workers are still search for the traces of life from the rubble of buildings. The death toll from a catastrophic earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria climbed to more than 26,400 on Saturday.
If we recall, on 2 February 2023, World’s nine countries issued security alerts warnings and decided to temporarily shut diplomatic missions in Istanbul. In reaction, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a statement said, "The other day our foreign ministry summoned all of them and gave the necessary ultimatum, told them 'You will pay for this heavily if you keep this up.” These western countries warned their citizens of a heightened risk of attacks to diplomatic missions and non-Muslim places of worship in Turkey, following a series of far-right protests in Europe in recent weeks that included several incidents of burning copies of the Muslim holy book, the Koran. Meanwhile, there is a bad taste against these nine countries and Austrian army in turkey had to suspend rescue operations this Saturday due to a worsening security situation.
One of the reasons of the earthquake claimed was that many European counties including UK and Germany illegally export non-recyclable plastic waste to Turkey, where it is burnt at landfill sites and pollutes the environment. The Turkish government imposed a total ban on importing many types of plastic waste, beginning 1 January 2021, but it did not have any impact at European export including reportedly nuclear waste continued. In 2020, total of 659,000 tonnes of waste plastic was sent to Turkey from Europe: corresponding to 241 truckloads of garbage on a daily basis. The amount of plastic waste coming over from Europe was many times increase in 2022-2023.
There are some people who are looting houses and shops even in this catastrophe. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a statement said that his government would take action against those involved in looting and other crimes in the region. Turkish President Erdogan although aggrieved gave hope that he would start building thousands of buildings destroyed across southern Turkey. He added that the authorities would take steps to start rebuilding damaged cities within weeks.