Follow-up Statement on Earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria
In the month since two devastating earthquakes hit Türkiye and Syria on February 6, 2023, the region has continued to be rocked by aftershocks as local responders and international aid groups come to grips with the humanitarian situation on the ground. World Monuments Fund (WMF) mourns the lives lost, now estimated at 46,000 in Türkiye and 4,500 in Syria.
Since news of the disaster broke, we have been in dialogue with our long-term partners in the region, including the Association for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (KMKD), ICOMOS Türkiye, Anadolu Kültür, and the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Our aim is to collaborate on data collection, investigation, information sharing, and site assessment, supporting the coordination of information from various organizations and individual experts, including assessments of damaged cultural heritage from site visits. While we do not currently have active project partners in Syria, we have been gathering information and are in regular communication with colleagues in the country.
Given the serious challenges posed by the earthquake and its aftermath, WMF aims to mobilize its scientific advisory team at the Archaeological Site of Ani in Türkiye, and offer its expertise in architecture, structural engineering, conservation, and seismology to support emergency assessment in the disaster zone after the end of the three-month state of emergency declared by the Turkish government.
As our understanding of the situation on the ground grows, WMF is committed to supporting our local partners in Türkiye and Syria in their recovery.
Ways to Support
WMF’s Crisis Response Fund provides resources for early recovery actions so that heritage sites can help build community resiliency, create economic opportunity, and strengthen social cohesion in the wake of disaster. You can support our efforts by donating here.
World Monuments Fund safeguards cultural heritage around the globe, ensuring our treasured places are preserved for present and future generations.
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