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Earthquakes batter Turkey, Syria’s historical monuments | Earthquakes News

The earthquakes have destroyed or damaged ancient monuments that have previously withstood wars and disasters.

A series of devastating earthquakes and aftershocks in Turkey and Syria, which have left more than 5,000 people deadhave also destroyed or damaged several of the ancient region’s historical monuments that had survived wars and natural disasters for centuries.

Parts of Syria affected by the temblors have also been suffering from a 12-year-long war that has also ravaged some of the iconic architecture that the country, among the cradles of human civilization, has long been known for.

Experts fear the earthquakes could compound the loss of the region’s cultural legacy — Turkey’s government has said more than 5,600 buildings have been destroyed in just that country.

Here are some of the key monuments damaged by the earthquakes:

The Gaziantep Castle in the historical district of the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep, August 11, 2022. The castle was badly damaged in the earthquakes of February 6, 2023 [File: Omar Haj Kadour/AFP]

Gaziantep Castle, Gaziantep

Known locally as Gaziantep Kalesi, the second-century AD castle at the center of the Turkish city of Gaziantep, was partially destroyed, with many of its walls and watch towers leveled, and other parts damaged.

“Some of the bastions in the east, south and southeast parts of the historical Gaziantep Castle in the central Sahinbey district were destroyed by the earthquake, the debris was scattered on the road,” Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday.

The building was initially used as an observation point. It was then developed into a full-fledged castle by the Romans. The monument has been a popular tourist attraction — its long and rich history is a testament to that city’s ancient roots and the myriad waves of visitors and conquerors drawn to this part of Turkey over the centuries.

The castle has undergone renovation numerous times, the last in the early 2000s.

(Al Jazeera)

Sirvani Mosque, Gaziantep

Adjacent to Gaziantep Castle, this 17th-century mosque has also suffered serious damage. Its eastern wall and dome partially collapsed, according to Anadolu.

The mosque, one of the oldest in Gaziantep, has long stood tall not just as a religious structure but as an architectural wonder too. Unlike most minarets in mosques, Sirvani Mosque’s towers have two balconies.

People walk into the Citadel, Aleppo's famed fortress where much of the fierce fighting took place in 2016, in Syria, Tuesday, Sept.  12, 2017. The recapture of eastern Aleppo in December 2016, one of the deadliest episodes of the Syrian civil war, was a landmark victory for Assad's forces in the conflict, now in its seventh year, but it left the area in ruins.  (AP Photo/Natalia Vasilyeva)
People walk into the Citadel, Aleppo’s famed fortress, in Syria, September 12, 2017. The ancient castle has largely survived Syria’s brutal war so far but was damaged in the earthquake [File: Nataliya Vasilyeva/AP Photo]

Aleppo Citadel, Aleppo

It is one of the world’s oldest standing castles, but it did not escape the earthquake unscathed.

“Parts of the Ottoman mill inside the citadel” of Aleppo have collapsed, while “sections of the northeastern defensive walls have cracked and fallen”, Syria’s Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums said in a statement.

Parts of the dome of the minaret of the Ayyubid mosque inside the citadel fell off, while the entrance to the fort has been damaged, “including the entrance to the Mamluk tower”, the government agency added.

Yeni Mosque, Malatya

The 17th-century mosque in the ancient city of Malatya in Turkey’s East Anatolia region has repeatedly suffered damage from earthquakes. It was destroyed in the earthquake of 1894 but was then rebuilt. It was again damaged in the earthquake of 1964.

On Monday, many of the monument’s walls came down, according to Anadolu, adding the latest chapter to the mosque’s battle for survival.

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