Tyurkey Earthquake Neurologists passed away


On February 6, 2023, two major earthquakes occurred, 9 hours apart, with epicenters in Gaziantep and Kahramanmaraş in Türkiye [Turkey]. In this disaster, called “the 2023 Türkiye-Syria earthquakes”, nearly forty-three thousand people died in Türkiye and six thousand people in Syria. A total of approximately 150,000 people were injured, of which one hundred and twenty thousand were in Türkiye. It is estimated that at least 3 million people migrated from the affected zone to different cities after the earthquakes. Aftershocks still continue and pose a serious risk for rescue teams. Earthquakes affected 13.5 million Turkish people in an area of one thousand square kilometres. This refers to about one-seventh of Türkiye's population.

From the first news of the catastrophe, both state institutions and organizations and volunteers rushed to the earthquake zone. Especially in Hatay and Maraş, there was such a severe destruction that the emergency response teams were also affected. The freezing cold and snowy weather and the fact that people were caught asleep increased our loss and made emergent intervention difficult. A significant help came from many countries around the world. As a result of these efforts, many lives were saved in a short time and life was tried to be rebuilt as fast as possible. This effort still continues at the highest level.

Turkish Medicine intervened in the earthquake with great effort. Although there was a short-term overcapacity in some regions, all the injured could be taken to hospitals and all necessary interventions could be made with the system created all over the country. The Turkish Neurological Society provided containers, heaters, portable beds and generators in line with the demands of the regional neurology clinics and within its capacity. Our Society is going to continue its academic and physical aids so that life in the region can be re-established as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, nearly a hundred doctors died in the earthquake and five of them were neurologists. These friends you see in the picture passed away in the most hopeful and productive period of their lives. Our sadness is endless and unbearable. We have written this article to share this disaster experienced with the neurologists all over the world. As the Turkish Neurological Society, we want to keep the memory of these five colleagues alive. We will miss them very much.

Prof. M. Akif Topçuoğlu
President of the Turkish Neurological Society

Turkish Neurological Society