Turkey, a seismically active country, suffers from the most Devastating Natural Disaster in over 50 years. This is mainly due to its geographical location which lies mainly on the Anatolian plate, a small wedge-shaped tectonic plate that is being squeezed westwards as the Arabian plate to the east slams into the Eurasian plate.
We are aware that Turkey-Syria has been hit by 4 major earthquakes in a very short span of time. The first earthquake hit the country’s major cities with the magnitude of 7.8 and was followed nine hours later by a 7.5 event, with some 200 aftershocks in the period afterwards.
The earthquake epic entre struck around the large southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep, with the second large aftershock slightly to the north. Gaziantep is reported to be the sixth largest city in Turkey, home to around 2 million people.
With thousands of people estimated to die due to collapse in buildings, many people are still recovering even after weeks from the leftovers of the collapsed buildings. It’s disheartening yet threatening for mankind to experience such a disastrous natural calamity.
But what really caused the outbreak of such a natural disaster?
Naturally, the geographical location of Turkey is prone to earthquakes, which can be both moderate to strong. One of the major factors which caused the state of catastrophe in the country is due to its lack of building the earthquake resilient infrastructure. Despite being prone to earthquakes, the infrastructure hasn’t been made upto the level of handling such natural disasters.
This earthquake will not only impact the lives of people but on a greater level impact the economy of the country, but how?
Well, to answer this question our facts are backed up with some of the most interesting research.
The earthquake which hit the Turkey-Syria border and still continuing to hit the countries within short intervals of time is normal, which is due to their geographical location. But the effects of these earthquakes along with the weather conditions have created a large physical catastrophe.
Recently, the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation estimates that the cost to rebuild will be between 10 to 50 billion USD. Over 8,000 buildings, roads, and seaports were destroyed, which will limit their supply chain for exports. This physical destruction on top of the growing number of lives lost, leaving the state in a social tragedy of grieving along with a smaller workforce. Before the earthquake, the economy of Turkey stood at an inflation rate of around 60% from a previous high of 80%. Inflation had been ravaging the countries for years, as the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan cut interest rates, which fueled more inflation.
But due to the rising devaluation, higher premiums, and the 185 billion dollars in debt that Turkey owes raise the fear that the Turkish economy could risk collapse.
The disastrous earthquake in Turkey has had a destructive impact on certain industries, particularly those of agriculture and industry. The provinces that were affected constitute nearly 15% of the country’s agricultural production and 9% of their industrial output. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development believes that Turkey could suffer a reduction of up to 1% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Their initially projected growth of 3.5% has now been curtailed to 3%. The reverberations of this disaster could be felt globally, as Turkey is a major supplier of fruits, specifically apricots. Furthermore, tourism, which is a significant portion of the Turkish economy, is likely to suffer as many of the popular tourist destinations are now closed off.
Immediately after the earthquakes, the Turkish stock exchange lost about 3.9 billion dollars’ worth of value before the government closed the stock exchange, which raised certain questions and mixed emotions among the investors, both foreign and domestic.
But modernization does give some hope to the economy of Turkey. It is believed that the impacts will still be lesser than the 1999 earthquake. The stock market is up 10% since reopening. This can be seen with Turkey’s biggest companies, including Sasa Polyester, Ford Otosan, and Koç Holding. Each of these businesses saw a drop in stock during the disasters, and are now rising again towards normal numbers.
Turkey will experience new construction and Massive new construction projects which will bring the economic conditions to normal.