A 2,000 year old “Roman-era” castle has been destroyed in Turkey earthquake KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

A 2,000 year old “Roman-era” castle has been destroyed in Turkey earthquake

A 2,000 year old “Roman-era” castle has been destroyed in Turkey earthquake.

A 2,000-year-old castle built during the Roman Empire and, which up until Monday had stood the test of time, has been destroyed.

Set on a hilltop in southeastern Turkey, the Gaziantep Castle was constructed in the 2nd and 3rd centuries before becoming a museum.

Harrowing photos shows the aftermath of the quake, which display the castle in ruins, with many of its wall collapsed and shattered.

Debris had also been scattered onto the road.

Until the quake, the castle had served as the Gaziantep Defence and Heroism Panoramic Museum.

The museum, tucked into the walls of the castle, remembers the 1920 defense of the city against the French.

The castle played an important role during Turkey’s war of independence of the early 20th Century.

Unique for its irregular shape and 12 towers (it was surrounded by a moat at one point, too), the castle withstood multiple invasions, renovations and regime changes.

After the Ottoman Empire captured the castle in 1516, it lost its military significance, but held on to its status as an important historic site and tourist attraction in the centuries since.

Eight minutes later, another Twitter user posted the same two pictures with the caption, "2,200 years old Gazintap Castle destroyed by the earthquake in Turkey. Before vs Now."

The pictures featured in both of these tweets were accurate. The second photograph of the damaged castle was available on the Getty Images website and showed a date of Feb. 6.

Similarly, CNN.com reported, "Ancient castle used by Romans and Byzantines destroyed in Turkey earthquake." Within the body of the story, it was reported that the castle had been "badly damaged."

"Archaeological excavation showed that the site has been inhabited from Iron Age 650 B.C. till Chalcolite Age 5500 B.C.," authors C.A. Brebbia and C. Clark wrote.

"Traces of the castle were estimated to date [to the] Hittites. However, [the] main castle was first built in the 2nd and 3rd century A.D. in the Roman era and further enlarged and strengthened in Byzantium era by Emperor Justinian between 527 and 565 A.D."

This story will be updated if further details come to light. Seismologists said the first quake was one of the largest ever recorded in Turkey. Survivors said it took two minutes for the shaking to stop.

The second quake - triggered by the first - had a magnitude of 7.5, and its epicentre was in the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras province.

Many aftershocks are still being felt across the region.

The number of dead and injured from both Turkey and Syria has increased rapidly throughout Monday. 

The WHO has warned that those numbers are likely to increase as much as eight times, as rescuers find more victims in the rubble.

"We always see the same thing with earthquakes, unfortunately, which is that the initial reports of the numbers of people who have died or who have been injured will increase quite significantly in the week that follows," the WHO's senior emergency officer for Europe, Catherine Smallwood, told AFP.

Ms Smallwood added that the snowy conditions will leave many people without shelter, adding to the dangers. Many of the victims are in war-torn northern Syria, where millions of refugees live in camps on both sides of the border with Turkey. There have been dozens of fatalities reported in rebel-held areas.

Thousands of buildings across both the countries have collapsed, and several videos show the moment they fell, as onlookers ran for cover. Many buildings that were as large as 12 storeys high are now flattened, roads have been destroyed and there are huge mountains of rubble as far as the eye can see.

Among the buildings destroyed was Gaziantep Castle, an historic landmark that has stood for more than 2,000 years.

The BBC's Middle East correspondent Anna Foster, reporting from the Turkish city of Osmaniye, near the epicentre, described a devastating scene.

"It's absolutely pouring with rain which is hampering the rescue efforts. There is no power at all in the city tonight.

"We're still feeling regular after-shocks... and there are still concerns that there may be still more buildings to collapse," our correspondent said.

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