The Tragedy in Turkey and Syria Could Have a Diplomatic Silver Lining

The Tragedy in Turkey and Syria Could Have a Diplomatic Silver Lining
A firefighter searches for people in the rubble of a destroyed building, in Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey, Feb. 8, 2023 (AP photo by Kamran Jebreili).

Within moments of the catastrophic earthquake that struck along the border of Syria and Turkey early Monday, the world was able to observe two sights familiar in the aftermath of major natural disasters. First came the wrenching images of anguished survivors desperately searching for their loved ones in the rubble. Then there was the arrival of rescue workers and the mobilization of the international community.

In the midst of such a dark event, amid so much human suffering, the vast international mobilization offered a ray of light. It was particularly noteworthy because among the dozens of countries that promptly offered to send help were some with which Turkey has had very tense relations—countries like Greece and Israel, along with other Western nations that have seen their ties with Ankara become strained in recent years.

Could the horrors of the quake be accompanied by a slim silver lining? Is there any possibility that the humanitarian efforts could translate into lasting repairs of destabilizing diplomatic rifts?

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