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Latest Earthquake Situation in Turkey: Information for Tourists Traveling to Istanbul

The recent earthquake disaster in Turkey have caused widespread damage and disruption in the southeastern region of the country, near the Syrian border. 

As a result, many tourists planning to travel to Istanbul may be concerned about the impact on their travels.

This article provides updated information on the earthquake situation and its impact on tourists traveling to Istanbul, including flight cancellations, safety, and ways to help.

What Happened in Turkey?

On Feb. 6, 2023, the southeastern region of Turkey has been hit by two devastating earthquakes. The first quake of 7.7 magnitude occurred at 4.17 AM local time with a depth of 11 miles in Pazarcık district of Kahramanmaraş province, followed by a second quake of 7.6 magnitude in the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras.

See here a map of the earthquake epicenter:

Source: Daily Sabah, Courtesy of AFAD

 More than 180 aftershocks are recorded, and still being felt across the region. These earthquakes are considered to be one of the deadliest natural disasters this century.

As of this writing, the natural disaster has claimed the lives of over 3,300 people and left over 20,000 injured. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the current death toll and number of injuries caused by the earthquake are expected to rise up to eight times as rescue efforts uncover more victims in the rubble.

Which Parts of Turkey are Affected?

The areas most affected by the earthquakes in Turkey are the following ten provinces: Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş, Malatya, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adıyaman, Diyarbakir, Adana, Şanlıurfa, and Kilis. 

These provinces are all located in the southeast of the country near the Syrian border.

Here is a map that shows the areas that are affected by the devastating earthquake:

Source: BBC, Courtesy of USGS

What Have the Turkish Authorities Said?

The Turkish government has declared a state of emergency and issued an international appeal for help. Many countries from all over the world answering this call by rushing to send aid.

The European Union has dispatched search and rescue teams to Turkey, while teams from the Netherlands and Romania have already arrived. The United Kingdom has committed to sending 76 specialists, along with equipment and rescue dogs.

France, Germany, Israel, and the US have also offered their assistance. President Vladimir Putin of Russia has extended help to both Turkey and Syria, as has Iran. 

How Can I Help the Earthquake Victims in Turkey?

There are many national and international organizations that are helping with relief efforts. Those who want to help earthquake victims and support the relief efforts on the ground can make direct monetary donations to these organizations

  • Note: It is important to ensure that the organization one donates to is reputable and has a proven track record of providing aid to those in need.

Here are some reputable organizations and their bank account numbers:

1. Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay)

For donations from abroad, the Ziraat Bank International AG Filiale Frankfurt account number is:

  • IBAN: DE26 5122 0700 1080 0000 01
  • KONTO NO: 1080000001
  • BLZ: 512 20 700 SWIFT: TCZBDEFF

For donations from Turkey, the Ziraat Bank account number is:

  • IBAN: TR 4800 0100 2110 0000 2868 5254 SWIFT: TCZBTR2A

For more information, visit the official website of Türk Kizilay.

2. AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Authority)

(Note: The recipient's name must be listed as "T.C. İçişleri Bakanlığı Afet ve Acil Durum Yönetimi Başkanlığı" when donating funds to the AFAD through EFT or electronic fund transfer.)

  • TL : TR73 0001 0017 4555 5555 5552 04
  • USD : TR 46 0001 0017 4555 5555 5552 05
  • EURO : TR 19 0001 0017 4555 5555 5552 06
  • Bank Swift Code No : TCZBTR2A

You can find further bank accounts on AFAD’s official website: Earthquake Humanitarian Aid Campaign

3. Aktionsbündnis Katastrophenhilfe (Association of Caritas international, German Red Cross, UNICEF and Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe)

For Donations from Germany:

  • Spendenkonto: Commerzbank
  • IBAN: DE65 100 400 600 100 400 600
  • Stichwort: ZDF Erdbeben Türkei Syrien

Is It Safe to Travel to Istanbul?

As Istanbul is situated far from the earthquake-stricken region, located hundreds of miles to the west, it is considered safe to travel to Istanbul.

The earthquake has not impacted tourism in the city, and all tourist attractions in Istanbul, including museums, remain open.

Will Flights or Holidays to Istanbul be Cancelled?

Currently, no flights to Istanbul have been cancelled due to the earthquake disaster, and it is very unlikely that holidays will be cancelled in the near future. Flights to both Istanbul and Sabiha Gökcen airports are operating normally.

However, Adana Airport, Gaziantep Airport, and Hatay Airport in Turkey have been closed for regular operations. Only flights carrying aid and rescue teams are being allowed to land and take off from Gaziantep and Hatay airports.

Further Information:

  • Follow more news on Anadolu Agency 
  • You can find updates as well as live reporting from corespondents on the ground here:  BBC
  • AFAD, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, provides a map of the latest earthquakes in Turkey. See the list here: Latest Earthquakes
  • For more detailed information on earthquake safety in Turkey, you can also contact your embassy for advice.

In conclusion, travel to Istanbul is currently safe, but stay informed and check with your airline or tour provider for the latest updates. For more help in planning your trip to Istanbul, be sure to read our articles on the new Istanbul Airport, planning your trip to Istanbul and public transportation.

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