Geopolitics

Earthquake in Izmir shakes Turkey and Greece amid their political tensions

By | Rachel Brooks

October 30, 2020 

Image retrieved from social media. Fair use. 

Today, a massive earthquake shook the foundations of Turkey and Greece, sending shockwaves through the Aegean region. With disputes over the natural resources of the Aegean region looming over geopolitics, the earthquake created a stir of dread. The Times of Israel stated that, within the last few hours, it had counted at least 14 dead and at least 400 more wounded. The earthquake took place in Izmir, Turkey. It was registered as a magnitude 7.0. At the time of this report, rescue crews had pulled dozens from the rubble. 

As the earthquake shook the nation, the leadership of Turkey and Greece addressed the public. 

The Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the Turkish leader Erdogan to offer his condolences to the people of Turkey. 

I just called President @RTErdogan to offer my condolences for the tragic loss of life from the earthquake that struck both our countries. Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together,” tweeted Mitsotakis. 

Erdogan responded in kind, recognizing the losses in Greece. 

Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. I offer my condolences to all of Greece on behalf of myself and the Turkish people. Turkey, too, is always ready to help Greece heal its wounds.

That two neighbors show solidarity in difficult times is more valuable than many things in life,” tweeted Erdogan. 

As the two leaders exchanged condolences, there was a shared sense of loss among the Greek and Turkish diasporas. The Greek Archbishop of America offered his prayers for those devastated by the massive quake. 

Our prayers are with all those affected by the earthquake that struck both Greece & Turkey, especially Samos and Izmir. Natural disasters remind us that we’re all human beings, and the suffering of one is the suffering of us all. May God grant mercy, comfort, and relief to all,” tweeted Elpidophoros. 

The international community likewise expressed its remorse for the tragic loss of life and infrastructure caused by the quake. 

UNICEF extends sincere condolences to families who have lost loved ones in the #Izmir earthquake and wishes a fast recovery to those injured. 

 

UNICEF remains ready to support the efforts of all partners should they require any assistance,” stated UNICEF. 

The tragic events of the October 30 earthquake follow months of tensions between the Turkish and Greek governments regarding exclusive economic rights to specific island oil drilling locations. Despite their cordial words exchanged over the profound impact nature has had upon their nations, the two nations have seen tensions even within the last week. 

Voice of America reported one week ago that the Greek Navy had been put on alert as tensions with Turkey were rekindled. The Greek Navy has issued a code orange alert. This alert advised battleships to surround a tiny cluster of islands in the Aegean Sea that are relevant to the oil rights dispute. Ankara had redeployed the Oruc Reis survey ship to the region earlier in the month of October. 

The United States and the European Union have both worked to mediate a deescalation of tensions. It is not yet known what effect the earthquake will have on the two neighboring states, whether the two will be able to absolve differences in a concerted effort to heal from the quake, or whether it will exacerbate issues. Republic Underground News will follow up with future developments.