The historic fortress of Gaziantep, located in the southern Turkish province of Gaziantep, collapsed on Monday as a result of an earthquake, Turkish newspaper Posta reported.
Earlier in the day, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said that a 7.4 magnitude earthquake occurred in Kahramanmaras Province at 04:17 a.m. local time on Monday (01:17 GMT). It was felt in at least six nearby provinces — Hatay, Adana, Osmaniye, Diyarbakir, Malatya, and Sanliurfa — and was followed by numerous aftershocks. The death toll from the earthquake reached 76 people, while another 440 people were injured, AFAD added. In addition, strong tremors were felt in neighboring Syria, which led to even more casualties among the population.
Gaziantep Castle was first built as a watchtower in the Roman period in II-IV centuries A.D. Later, it was expanded and took the current circle form in the VI century A.D (527-565 A.D) during the period of Byzantine Emperor Justinianus. The castle consists of 12 towers, while its circumference reaches 1200 meters (3,937 feet).