13 March 2023

Why Fertile Crescent was Furious?

Why Fertile Crescent was so furious? Time Stopped. Birds Silenced.

I would like to express my deepest condolences to the lost lives at the gigantic quadruple earthquakes in south east of Türkiye. I wish a steady recovery to injured, and endurance to the families, relatives, and friends.

As the first wave struck the region in the early hours of 6th Feb we were awakened by calls far reaching us from each and every corner of the world. The 3 Turkish District governors we met online discussed our 5 phase plan and decided to communicate details to our Rotary family. Devastation became vivid as the sun rose. Suddenly the earth trembled once again to overwhelm what little was left behind as standing. As the day came to an end the sun was setting in dismay. 10 cities were wiped off from the map with roughly 150,000 buildings either collapsed or in unliveable condition.

During our visit to the region we have witnessed how homes must have were floated on liquid earth on which lasting durability was impossible. One of the most rundown cities was historic Antakya where once stood synagogues, churches and mosques together in a vibrant atmosphere. Now they have fallen together. We noticed a disturbing silence while walking among the rubble. A total noiselessness and stillness was crucial to the relief teams to detect the slightest sound of the victims. From time to time awkward noise of the rumbling excavators were breaking the quietness.

Local as well as foreign rescue units were operating round the clock to be able to get through and save lives. Their stretched strength were regenerated while pulling out live victims. Our admiration and gratitude goes to those who have spent endless days and nights in bitter cold.

Walking in the city of Antakya our eyes were seeing an inconceivable shattered landscape yet our minds were having difficulty to envision and accept the reality. Cities, towns, villages, homes, streets it was the same shocking scenes all over. As if a world war has just happened that resulted in an indescribable destruction.

Adıyaman splendid city of the Komagene Empire BCE 160. Remembering just 4 months back the Rotary Family were parading the streets with polio banners. Citizens cheering with delight, applauding the traditional climb to mount Nemrut with our handicapped friends. Listening to heart breaking Jamal Aliev concert in front of the gigantic statues. Now noting has survived from the same joyful shops, lights, flags and colourful people.

We noticed the cities only standing architecture. The famous clock tower seized to operate at 04.17. Just as the tremor reached its location the power was cut off. The tower resisted the earthquake and the upheaval of the ground more than 1 minute. Its strong bedrock and design protected the column from a total collapse. In front of this magnificent architecture I was standing with tiers in my eyes. Thoughts were racing in my conscious mentality. I wanted to believe that the tower stopped the time so not to witness the events about to take place in the next minute. Did not want to be the hearer of cries, onlooker to the agony and viewer of the catastrophe. The clock tower anticipated that stopping time may have prevented what is to happen. Unfortunately standing upright the tower had to face the reality. Nature behaved as expected without warning in ferocity. I wish that the clock on this magnificent tower never functions again. May be it will continue to reflect the consequences of atrocious human interaction with the environment.

We saw birds not knowing where to perch. Their nests destroyed together with those homes where people lived and used to feed them. Will they ever sing again?

Adana acclaimed, distinguished city of the ancient crescent. Where the original citrus tree flourishes to this day from which lemons, oranges, mandarins emerged. It was the season for ripe fruits to be picked. However the trees suddenly dropped their fruits not because of the big shake. Earth’s shudder was so immense that it meant end of life to the trees. Thus they delivered their off springs to outraged mother earth before it’s too late for new siblings to grow.

We have talked to the victims who sought shelter at Rotary tent and container camps. Their despair never reflected in their eyes. Their stance unique to Anatolian culture was placing all the suffering down in their heaths. Thanking to Rotary Family for providing imminent humanitarian help and protection.

“You have delivered us the most needed goods we are grateful for your perseverance”

“In return we only convey our prayers to be felt by those who have a great affection and love for humanity”

They invited me and my wife Belgin to a tent and offered us a glass of newly brewed Turkish tee. We inhaled the beautiful aroma and sipped in traditional respect. Within every drop our emotions ran wild, feeling the grievance they had endured. Yet their hospitality never diminishes. Thus I would like to deliver all their blessings to our graceful family.

Well Fertile Crescent home to civilisations for 1000s of years delivers its beauty in full scale. We the human kind, not only we should interpret and decipher the signs communicated to us but also need to take serious action if we desire to continue living on this amazing planet.