FIA president sends message to victims of horrific Turkey/Syria earthquake

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday morning, causing unprecedented tragedy.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali have reacted to the devastating earthquake that has caused so much death in Turkey and Syria, with Domenicali having labelled Turkey in particular as having a “very special place in the heart of F1”.

A huge 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and northern Syria Monday morning, with it having hit Gaziantep at around 6am reportedly.

Due to the timing of the earthquake, thousands have already been reported as dead, or missing, with the majority of the nation having been asleep whilst it began.

A rescue operation is currently underway, with nations from across the world sending people to help with what will be a lengthy search.

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Several tremors were felt throughout the day following the earthquake, with one of 7.5 magnitude having hit during Monday afternoon.

According to Turkey’s disaster and emergency management authority, there have been 285 aftershocks so far since the earthquake, with the likes of Cyprus and Egypt having felt the tremors.

As of midday on Tuesday, over 5,100 people had been confirmed as dead, with 3,549 having lost their lives in Turkey and 1,602 in Syria.

Despite the horrible figures, the World Health Organisation have revealed that the death count could eventually topple 20,000, highlighting how horrific the situation is.

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Ben Sulayem shared a message on behalf of the governing body on Monday.

“Our thoughts are with the victims of the terrible earthquake in Turkey and Syria, with their families and all our friends in the region. Our hearts go out to them,” the FIA president said.

A statement from Domenicali was also released following the earthquake, where it was revealed how “shocked” the pinnacle of motorsport was.

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“Turkey has a very special place in the heart of F1 with so many incredible people,” a statement from Domenicali read.

“The tragedy that has taken place there has shocked us all and we pray for the victims and the people of Turkey.”

Turkey most recently held a race in 2021, whilst Lewis Hamilton claimed victory and his seventh World Championship when the nation stepped-in to host a race in 2020, during the COVID-19 struck season.