Fact Check

Turkey's Gaziantep Castle Partially Destroyed by Early 2023 Earthquake

Pictures were posted of the damage to Gaziantep Castle after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the region on Feb. 6, 2023.

Published Feb. 6, 2023

Image courtesy of Twitter
The ancient Gaziantep Castle was partially destroyed in an earthquake that struck Turkey on Feb. 6, 2023.

As of around 24 hours after the earthquake first struck, it was unclear what percentage of the structure had been damaged.

A claim swept across the web following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria at 4:17 a.m. local time on Feb. 6 that the natural disaster destroyed the ancient Gaziantep Castle. The castle is in the Turkish city of the same name.

The quake was centered "about 20 miles from Gaziantep," NBC News reported via data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Around 24 hours after the earthquake struck, The Associated Press (AP) was already reporting more than 3,400 deaths, showing just how devastating the massive quake had truly been.

In our research, we found that Gaziantep Castle had been at least partially destroyed. This story will present our findings.

Damage to the Castle

In the aftermath of the earthquake and its many aftershocks, Twitter user @ThomasVLinge posted a before-and-after comparison to show the damage to Gaziantep Castle.

Eight minutes later, another Twitter user posted the same two pictures with the caption, "2,200 years old Gazintap Castle destroyed by the earthquake in Turkey. Before vs Now."

The pictures featured in both of these tweets were accurate. The second photograph of the damaged castle was available on the Getty Images website and showed a date of Feb. 6.

Similarly, CNN.com reported, "Ancient castle used by Romans and Byzantines destroyed in Turkey earthquake." Within the body of the story, it was reported that the castle had been "badly damaged."

Videos appeared to show a glimpse at the extent of the damage.

Additionally, we located a helpful picture that showed an aerial view of the damage to the castle. This view appeared to indicate that the damage had been devastating, but also that it wasn't a complete and total loss.

Gaziantep Castle in Turkey was partially damaged and destroyed in an earthquake in February 2023.An aerial view of damaged historical Gaziantep Castle after an earthquake hit southern provinces of Turkey, in Gaziantep, Turkey, on Feb. 6, 2023. (Photo by Mehmet Akif Parlak/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Past Renovations

The AP reported that the castle had previously undergone multiple renovations, with the most recent one occurring in the early 2000s:

In Turkey, the powerful quake destroyed a historic castle perched on top a hill in the Turkish city of Gaziantep.

Parts of the Gaziantep Castle's walls and watch towers were levelled while other areas of the structure were damaged, images from the region showed.

The castle was first used as a watch tower and was expanded into a castle during Roman times. It underwent renovation numerous times, the last time in the early 2000s.

At press time, it was unclear what percentage of the damage was from renovations versus what was part of the original works, a subject that was being discussed online.

The History of the Castle

According to "Defence Sites II: Heritage and Future," the hill where the castle stood had a history that went back thousands of years.

"Archaeological excavation showed that the site has been inhabited from Iron Age 650 B.C. till Chalcolite Age 5500 B.C.," authors C.A. Brebbia and C. Clark wrote.

"Traces of the castle were estimated to date [to the] Hittites. However, [the] main castle was first built in the 2nd and 3rd century A.D. in the Roman era and further enlarged and strengthened in Byzantium era by Emperor Justinian between 527 and 565 A.D."

This story will be updated if further details come to light.


Brebbia, C. A., and C. Clark. Defence Sites II: Heritage and Future. WIT Press, 2014.

Google Books. https://books.google.com/.

Guzel, Mehmet, et al. "Rescuers Scramble in Turkey, Syria after Quake Kills 3,400." The Associated Press, 6 Feb. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/earthquake-shakes-turkey-b927808f6a5c54bdb669120faa40b7bc.

Ihlas News Agency. "Gaziantep Kalesi Depremde Büyük Hasar Gördü." YouTube, 6 Feb. 2023, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0bkC1VHafM.

Khan, Aina J., and Mithil Aggarwal. "More than 3,000 Dead as Two Massive Earthquakes Rock Turkey and Syria." NBC News, 6 Feb. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/78-magnitude-earthquake-shakes-central-turkey-rcna69251.

"Live Updates | Thousands Dead after Turkey, Syria Earthquake." The Associated Press, 6 Feb. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/turkey-earthquake-live-updates-19e7d84fefdeed4c8a355dedf23d914f.

Marcus, Lilit. "Ancient Castle Used by Romans and Byzantines Destroyed in Turkey Earthquake." CNN, 6 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/gaziantep-castle-destroyed-turkey-earthquake/index.html.

Parlak, Mehmet Akif and Anadolu Agency. "A View of Damaged Historical Gaziantep Castle after a 7.4 Magnitude..." Getty Images, 6 Feb. 2023, https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/view-of-damaged-historical-gaziantep-castle-after-a-7-4-news-photo/1246836963.

@ThomasVLinge. "Thousands Are Feared Death after a 7,8 Earthquake Hit Southern #Turkey and Northern #Syria Last Night, Causing Many Buildings to Collapse. This Picture Shows the Historical Castle of #Gaziantep before and after the Quake." Twitter, 6 Feb. 2023, https://twitter.com/ThomasVLinge/status/1622507842178633728.

u/stepover7. "Gaziantep Castle Collapses after Magnitude 7.4 Quake Hit Türkiye." r/worldnews via Reddit.com, 6 Feb. 2023, https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/10v07sz/gaziantep_castle_collapses_after_magnitude_74/.

@xruiztru. "2,200 Years Old Gazintap Castle Destroyed by the Earthquake in Turkey. Before vs Now." Twitter, 6 Feb. 2023, https://twitter.com/xruiztru/status/1622509677945708548.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.