Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta


Turkey-Syria earthquake: statement from the Lieutenant of the Grand Master

Turkey-Syria earthquake Order of Malta
epa10450296 Turkish emergency personnel and others try to help victims at the site of a collapsed building after an earthquake in Diyarbakir, Turkey 06 February 2023. According to the US Geological Service, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.8 struck southeast Turkey close to the Syrian border. The earthquake caused buildings to collapse and sent shockwaves over northwest Syria, Cyprus, and Lebanon. EPA/REFIK TEKIN

Following the terrible earthquake that struck in south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, causing thousands of deaths, Fra’ John Dunlap, Lieutenant of the Grand Master, issued the following statement:

“Our thoughts and sincere prayers are with all those who have lost their lives, their loved ones, and their livelihoods in the earthquakes affecting Turkey and Syria yesterday. We pray in particular for the relief workers from our aid agency, Malteser International (MI), who are already on the ground working hard to help save lives; as well as for the international team that will arrive to support them from Cologne, Germany, in the coming hours.

We encourage all members and donors of the Order of Malta who wish to make a contribution to support the work of MI.

Our staff in Syria and Turkey have all been deeply personally affected by this disaster. Many have lost family and friends. Our thoughts are with them especially as they continue their work to serve others even in spite of their own circumstances.

This disaster will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable people. Many of them have been dealing daily with the effects of conflict and displacement since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War more than a decade ago. We have been working to help them since 2012. And we remain committed to doing so for as long as is necessary. We hope that this terrible tragedy will be a reminder of our common humanity in the face of suffering and help bring an end to needless violence”.


Photo-Credit: Ansa/EPA