A New 5.2-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Turkey

A New 5.2-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Turkey

In Turkey, the quake has led to intense scrutiny of building practices and of the government checks put in place to make sure that constructions can withstand the shaking. The government has investigated more that 550 people suspected of ties to collapsed buildings and some of them have been detained.

Residents of the quake zone have also criticized the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for what they say was a late response in getting rescue workers to affected areas to pull survivors from the rubble and give aid to displaced families.

In Syria, the earthquake response was hindered by divided areas of control created by the country’s civil war. The affected area included the cities of Aleppo and Latakia, which are under the authoritarian government of President Bashar al-Assad, as well as territory controlled by Turkish-backed forces that have sought to overthrow the president.

Aid, even from the United Nations, was slow to enter rebel-controlled parts of Syria, but the needs have helped thaw, at least temporarily, relations between Mr. al-Assad and some of his Arab neighbors.

Much of the West considers Mr. al-Assad a pariah over how the government’s actions in the civil war, including using chemical weapons against its own people, imposing starvation sieges and launching indiscriminate bombings of residential areas.

Most Arab countries, too, cut ties with Mr. al-Assad early in the war, and some actively supported the rebels who wanted to end his regime. But some of those countries have mended ties and even sent officials to visit Mr. al-Assad in the quake’s aftermath.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry of Egypt met with Mr. al-Assad in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Monday, the first such trip by Egypt’s top diplomat since the war in Syria began in 2011.

“The goal of the visit is primarily humanitarian, and to pass on our solidarity — from the leadership, the government and the people of Egypt to the people of Syria,” Mr. Shoukry told reporters.

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