Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Türkiye and Syria

The news about a huge earthquake happening in the area of Türkiye and Syria on Monday has shaken us all around the world.

The earthquake’s epicentre on the East Anatolian Fault was only 50km from Kahramanmaraş, the biggest earthquake ever in this region. Many buildings in Kahramanmaraş have collapsed, and many lives have been lost.

We have been in contact with our Expo organisers in Kahramanmaraş and can report they are safe but are worried about family and friends and are focusing on saving lives, as you can imagine. The temperatures are below freezing there now, and many people cannot return to their apartments due to the risk of collapse.

Their focus just now will not be on their Expo, which was due to open at the end of April. Apparently, the Expo site has not experienced damage (buildings constructed in the last 25 years are more resistant to earthquakes), but such a big event will change the priorities for the local government there, and for now, it is too early to say what the next steps will be on this.

Our other regional Expo cities, Hatay and Malatya, have also experienced significant damage. Our AIPH President, Leonardo Capitanio, has sent out letters to the Mayors of these cities to send our condolences and support.

We also have news from members of the Ornamental Plants and Products Exporters Association and Turkish Flower Group to say that they are safe in Antalya but, of course, are grieving over this catastrophe that has hit their fellow countrymen.

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