Published 4 April 2023

SALAR International visits earthquake-affected areas in Southeast Türkiye to plan for recovery

SALAR International visited Southeast Türkiye which is heavily affected by two massive earthquakes in February 2023, to offer condolences, show solidarity, and plan for future recovery support to municipalities directly impacted by the earthquake as well as by internal displacement.

Türkiye earthquake field visit.

Marléne Hugosson, Selda Taner, Sinan Özden and Ryan Knox.

The earthquakes of 7.7 and 7.6 magnitudes hit 11 provinces, including Hatay, Adıyaman, Elazığ, Gaziantep, Kilis, Osmaniye, Malatya, Diyarbakır, Şanlıurfa, and Adana, affecting more than 15 million people, including over 1.5 million Syrians under temporary protection. The disaster caused massive destruction, with over half a million buildings and critical infrastructure, including communication and energy systems damaged. The death toll has risen to over 50,000, with numbers expected to increase.

The delegation, including SALAR International Managing Director Ryan Knox, The Resilience in Local Governance Project (RESLOG) Project Manager Marléne Hugosson, SALAR Infrastructure expert Selda Taner and National Project Manager (RESLOG Türkiye) Sinan Özden, met with Mayors and municipal teams of Mersin and Kahramanmaraş to discuss the situation and jointly with the municipalities plan how to best assess the damage to municipal services and the support for the recovery of its functionality.

The central role of municipalities in recovery from the earthquake

During the visit, Ryan Knox emphasized the long-term cooperation between the Union of Municipalities of Türkyie and SALAR International and expressed a commitment to provide the best possible support to Turkish partners and their member municipalities. Sinan Özden (Project Manager RESLOG Türkiye) stated that since 2018, RESLOG Türkiye has been working to increase the resilience of local governments in the face of crisis, and its support for affected municipalities will continue in their resilience and rercovery efforts.

SALAR International current support will focus on midterm recovery and sustainable development to regain the functionality of municipal services inclusive of all members of society ensuring that local needs are provided for by local actors. SALAR International and RESLOG Türkiye also met with international actors in Ankara as well as its partner Unions of Municipalities (UMT) in order to highlight the importance of international cooperation in supporting local governments in their central role in mid and long-term recovery.

Video - SALAR International's support to Turkey

Ryan Knox, Managin Director, provides an update on SALAR International's recent visit to Kahramanmaraş and outlines the organisation's plans to concentrate on enhancing urban functionality in Türkiye's services and economy. Length: 1min 40 sec.

Video - Resident from Antakya - Hatay

This video captures SALAR International's visit to Türkiye on 27-28 March, featuring participant Umran Koc, a resident of Antakya-Hatay, who shares his experience before and after the earthquake. Additionally, Ryan Knox, Managing Director of SALAR International, highlights the organisation's efforts to support Türkiye's plan for recovery. Length 3 minutes 42 seconds.

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