Skip to main content

Turkey's earthquake spikes Europe's fears of Middle East flare-ups

The Turkish-Syrian border area at large remains one of the world’s geopolitical quagmires, a major epicenter of tensions and fault lines that run throughout the Middle East toward Europe.
A man waits for news of his loved ones, believed to be trapped under collapsed building on February 08, 2023 in Hatay, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)

PARIS — The massive earthquake that hit eastern Turkey and northwestern Syria early Monday morning was met with shock and horror both in the region and in Europe.

The death toll reached over 20,000 at the time of publication, while thousands of buildings were flattened on both sides of the border as many did not meet the seismic standards — all the more so in ramshackle Syria after more than a decade of war and civil governance neglect. European governments mobilized to send rescue teams and materials, but the geopolitics of the impacted region proved to be an issue.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.