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Social Media Mourns Turkey and Syria on Earthquake Disaster

posted on: Mar 1, 2023

Photo: gzt “Don’t fall down Hatay, we are here…”

By: Souria Dabbousi / Arab America Contributing Writer

Southeast Turkey has had at least 81 magnitude-4 quakes, 20 magnitude-5 quakes, three magnitude-6 quakes, and two magnitude-7 quakes in the past two weeks. More than 45,000 people dead, 100,000, if not more, injured, thousands missing, and millions homeless. Approximately 1.5 million people have been left homeless due to this natural disaster. Many are still suffering from the aftershocks of this terrible disaster. In response to the situation, artists have turned towards social media to mourn those who lost their lives and those who were affected by the deadly tragedy.

Artist: Aysun Ozguler.

Irmak, a 15-year old girl was asleep when the earthquake hit Kahramanmaras. She died after having been trapped underneath a fallen building. This photo was displayed worldwide on front pages and depicts Irmak’s father, Mesut Hancer, holding on to his daughter. Aysun Ozguler is the Turkish artist behind this art piece.

Hediya Sumeyra Korkmaz is a Turkish artist who emphasizes certain ideas and uses that as her inspiration for her illustrations. She mainly focuses on expressing kindness and uses ideas from the outside world as inspiration for her art work. Which is exactly what she did with the illustrations above. Her inspiration came from a photograph of an Azerbaijani citizen by the name of Server Beşirli. It depicted him going to aid the earthquake victims in his car with a Turkish flag on top. His efforts are a clear indication of his admiration for the Turkish people. She captioned the image, “iyilik iyilestirir” which translates to “goodness heals.”

Artist: Fuad al-Ymani

Fuad al-Ymani, a visual artist residing in Prague, posted his sketch of Syrian rescuers attempting to move debris while looking for earthquake survivors. He captioned this photo on his Instagram which translates to:

“It took me a long time and I was shocked to think of a drawing that expresses the pain that we are living these days and the disaster that happened to our people in Syria. I couldn’t think of one. I don’t think there is anything capable of expressing the amount of tragedy and painful disaster this is.”

Artist: Hacer Bolat

Turkish artist Hacer Bolat illustrates the state of affairs in Turkey, as rescue workers are still searching through the debris in the hope of discovering additional survivors. The World Health Organization’s Europe director, Hans Kluge, said:

“relief workers were facing ‘the worst natural disaster in the region for a century’, adding that 26 million people need assistance across both countries. The WHO launched the largest rescue operation of its kind in the organization’s 75-year history.”

Artist: Haitian Saigh

Syrian artist, Haitian Saigh, illustrates an image that portrays a family among the debris of a destroyed structure holding what seems to be a child that has died. Despite the destruction that has occurred on both sides of the Turkey-Syria border, the battle that has been raging there for the past 12 years has included periodic airstrikes by the government. Because according to restrictions on access to rebel-held areas, international rescuers initially had difficulty getting to those who had been impacted by the earthquake.

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