The Platform

A Hungarian rescue worker in Antakya, Turkey.

With over 30,000 dead from last week’s catastrophic earthquake, Türkiye (Turkey) is a devastated country and it needs your help! The global community needs to come forward and responsibly to support Türkiye, and Syria, which was impacted by the earthquake.

This support can come in all forms. It is not just financial, where you can donate funds to reconstruct destroyed villages and cities and provide relief to those uprooted by this natural disaster. But you can also extend moral support by spreading factual information and discouraging and reporting misinformation. Türkiye is reeling from extreme anguish with heart-wrenching images of destroyed cities and villages. The 7.8 magnitude quake struck at 4 am when many people were sleeping.

Rescue and relief efforts are well underway. And countries that have significant disagreements with Türkiye and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, its president, are helping. Greece and Armenia are helping to provide material support to their devastated neighbor.

A rescue worker in Aleppo, Syria
A rescue worker in Aleppo, Syria.

During any disaster of this magnitude, social media becomes an invaluable tool to help those in need. There is a moral responsibility for each one of us to use it responsibly when sharing images, videos, and content about this disaster.

What prompted me to write this has to do with a post on the social media website Twitter that I came across while scrolling in the early hours of February 6th when the earthquake had just hit in the east of the country near Türkiye’s border with Syria. The post reported on damage to an unfinished nuclear power plant. The profile @CBKNEWS121 has over 10k followers.

The post has garnered 1,891 likes, 1.4 million views, around 744 retweets, and 237 quote tweets. The post actually shows a video from the Port of Beirut, Lebanon where an explosion devastated large parts of Beirut in 2020. “Earth tremors of about magnitude 3 were felt here…but our specialists have not revealed any damage to building structures, cranes, and equipment,” said Anastasia Zoteeva, from Russia’s state nuclear energy company Rosatom. An official from Rosatom, the company building the nuclear power plant categorically denied that the earthquake had damaged the still-under-construction power plant.

It is vital that each of us use social media responsibly, as one click, like, or share can prove fatal for people awaiting relief packages and assistance from the international community.

Below are some resources where you can go to help the people devastated by the earthquake:

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations
Syrian American Medical Society
Ernesto’s Sanctuary for Cats in Syria (animal rescue)
International Red Cross
Doctors Without Borders

Sarmad Iqbal is a writer, blogger and student who has a penchant for reading, writing, learning languages, and studying cultures, religions and geo-political affairs. His articles have been published in Pakistan's The Nation newspaper, Dunya Blogs, ARY Blogs, Parhlo, the Times of Israel, the Algemeiner, the Jerusalem Post, in the Armenian Weekly and also in American Comeback magazine.