The Turkish publication Antalya Ekspres decided to “resuscitate” the topic of the earthquake in Turkey and the corresponding risks for the resorts. In an interview with this media, the expert historian Çagri Yılmaz, who has studied earthquakes that have occurred in Antalya from ancient times to the present day, said that after the large earthquakes that occurred in Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, and Adana, the risk of an earthquake in Antalya remain – at the same time, there is a high chance that the resort will share the fate of ancient cities that were flooded by tsunamis after earthquakes.
The publication clarifies that historian Çagri Yılmaz defended his thesis on earthquakes in Antalya at Akdeniz University’s Mediterranean Civilizations Research Center, studying many documents from ancient times to the present day, and he “stumbled upon very important records of earthquakes.”
“The history of earthquakes in Antalya was studied very superficially – this I found out in the course of my research. When I searched the sources of historians for archival documents, travelers who visited Antalya, studying not only Ottoman archives but also Armenian sources, I saw that for the first time, we see an earthquake in Antalya in Karain Cave in prehistoric times – a body was found by historians and archaeologists of a woman who died after a rock fell on her. Another earthquake on the territory of modern Antalya was recorded in the 500s in the sources of the Byzantine Empire,” he said. Then you can take into account the earthquake that occurred in Cyprus in 1222, and again strongly affected Antalya. The next time so that it “entered the annals”, the territory shook in 1468, when on the other side of the Mediterranean, Leonardo da Vinci noted in his notes that during a strong earthquake that occurred in the area of the modern harbor, the sea split and the sea disappeared for 3 hours
“The biggest earthquake in Antalya happened in Rhodes in 1741. As a result of this earthquake, great destruction occurred in the area of Phoenicia. The ancient cities of Myru, Simena, and Aperlai were flooded by the sea as a result of the tsunami during the earthquake that occurred in the Mediterranean Sea in Rhodes,” the expert added.
Then, in 1926, a strong earthquake occurred in Antalya. As the expert stated, “Records about this condition are in our state archive. The damage caused by the earthquake was great. While we were studying these documents, we also studied the historical seismic structure of Turkey and came across an interesting detail – we couldn’t help but appreciate from a historical perspective the strong earthquake in Kahramanmaras that we experienced recently. And in our research, we saw that after 3 big earthquakes in this region, big Antalya earthquakes occurred in Antalya with a timeout of 3 and 15 years. For example, 17 years after the Hatay earthquake that occurred in 526, a strong earthquake occurs in Antalya. 10 years before the Cyprus earthquake in 1222, a very strong earthquake occurred in Adana, Hatay region. Three years after a serious earthquake that hit the Adana region, an earthquake occurred in Antalya in 1741,” he listed, recalling that this is the region that was most affected in February.
As the publication mentions, the head of the Department of Geography of Turkey at Akdeniz University, Mustafa Ertürk, also spoke about the reality of the tsunami in Antalya after strong earthquakes. “Earthquakes that threaten Antalya mostly occur in the sea. We have seen that earthquakes on the Southwest Greek Arc have touched Antalya. When we look at earthquakes in the ancient period, we see that some ancient cities were not affected by earthquakes, but by tsunamis that followed them. Earthquakes in the center of the sea threaten Antalya much more. At the moment, it is very difficult to predict how strong a tsunami will be. It is difficult to understand what damage it will cause in the district,” he said.
At the same time, Antalya is quite nonchalant about risk: many things in the city need major repairs and earthquake proofing — as well as readiness for other risks. Including hotels. “There were very strong earthquakes in the past. We have to live thinking that an earthquake could happen in Antalya and take precautionary measures,” experts say.