On Monday, february 7, UNESCO expressed its support for Syria and Turkey following the devastating earthquakes that struck the two countries. “My condolences go out to the families and loved ones of those who died. My thoughts are also with the injured and all those affected. Our Organization will provide assistance within its mandate,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.
The Organization has undertaken with its partners an initial survey of damages to heritage. In Syria, UNESCO is particularly concerned about the situation in the Ancient city of Aleppo, which is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Significant damage has been noted in the citadel. The western tower of the old city wall has collapsed and several buildings in the souks have been weakened.
In Türkiye, UNESCO deplores the collapse of several buildings at the World Heritage site o Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape, an important centre of the Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman periods. Other sites on the World Heritage List not far from the epicentre could also be affected, such as Göbekli Tepe, Nemrut Dağ and Tell of Arslantepe.
UNESCO is mobilizing its experts, in conjunction with its partners such as ICOMOS, to establish a precise inventory of the damage with the aim of rapidly securing and stabilizing these sites.
Release: UNESCO, Paris, France