Even with all our technology and the inventions that make modern life so much easier than it once was, it takes just one big natural disaster to wipe all that away and remind us that, here on Earth, we're still at the mercy of nature.” - Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Gaziantep Castle (Turkish: Gaziantep Kalesi) is a castle on top of a mound in the centre of Gaziantep, Turkey. First used as an observation point during the Hittite Empire, it was expanded into a castle during the Roman Empire. The hilltop was first used as an observation point during the period of the Hittite Empire. It was later expanded into a main castle by the Roman Empire in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. It underwent further expansion and renovation under Emperor Justinian I between AD 527 and 565. The circumference of the round shaped castle is 1,200 metres. The walls are built of stone and the castle has 12 bastions.
The castle has been renovated numerous times. It saw changes made during the reign of the Ayyubids in the 12th and 13th centuries, as well as the Ottoman Empire, and played an important role during the War of Independence of the early 20th century.
On the 6th of February 2023, a powerful and deadly earthquake struck southern and central Turkey. It is one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in Turkish and Syrian history. It occurred 34 km west of the city of Gaziantep at 04:17 TRT (01:17 UTC), causing widespread damage and many fatalities in Southeast Turkey and Northwest Syria. With a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent) and a magnitude of at least Mww 7.8, the earthquake is tied with the 1939 Erzincan earthquake as the strongest instrumentally recorded earthquake to hit Turkey in modern times, while possibly being surpassed by the 1668 North Anatolia earthquake.
It is also the deadliest earthquake to strike the country since the 1999 İzmit earthquake. The earthquake was followed by numerous aftershocks, the strongest of which had a magnitude of Mww 7.5. This aftershock occurred 9 hours later, 4 km north–northeast of Elbistan in Kahramanmaraş Province at 13:24 TRT (10:24 UTC). It also had a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX. As a result of the earthquakes, over 5,000 people were killed and more than 24,000 were injured. Unfortunately, the WHO has predicted that the number of fatalities may increase by a factor of eight as more debris is removed and the true extent of the disaster is realised. Condolences to the families of the victims, and please support the relief effort in any way that you are able to.