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One year on from the Turkiye and Syria Earthquake

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One year on from the Turkiye and Syria Earthquake

One year on from the Turkiye and Syria Earthquake

Today marks one year since a powerful earthquake struck southern Turkiye and northern Syria.

The quake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, destroyed thousands of homes and killed upwards of 60 000 people in both countries, with Turkiye suffering the most. This earthquake was one of the costliest in Turkish history, incurring a damage bill of nearly $150 billion or roughly 9% of the country’s GDP.

Since the quake, the Turkish government has undertaken a massive reconstruction effort to rebuild more than 300,000 homes for displaced families. This was an effort that President Erdogan leveraged in his unexpected May election win, performing well in affected areas. Since subsequent flooding last year, the situation in Syria has become even worse, compounded by the vacuum of authority in a region devastated by civil war. Assad’s government also used the devastation to reforge ties with regional neighbours, rejoining the Arab League last May.

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Photo: Third South Summit

Turkiye is on a pathway to reconstruction, however, it will be a long and costly process that Erdogan will need to fulfill to secure his base for subsequent elections. So, expect that reconstruction to continue. In Syria, expect reconstruction to be slower, civil administration along with Assad hindrance will prevent effective aid reaching those in need. Long-term in Syria, it will be interesting to see if the disaster provides an opening for ceasefire discussions.

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