Emine Erdogan, Antonio Guterres sign condolence book for victims of major earthquakes affecting Türkiye, Syria

Turkish First Lady Emine Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday visited the memorial wall placed at the UN headquarters for those who lost their lives in the major earthquakes in Türkiye in February. 

Signing the condolences book at the headquarters, Guterres conveyed his "deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria." 

"My heart goes out to the people in the affected areas, many of whom already endured years of conflict and suffering as refugees," he wrote. "I will never forget the tremendous generosity that I personally witnessed in the Gaziantep area where I saw the Turkish people receiving, protecting and assisting millions of Syrian refugees."

"Today we owe the Turkish people the same solidarity in their hour of greatest need. The United Nations is committed to do all we can to mobilize support in total solidarity with the government and the people of Türkiye," he added.

The first lady wrote that the strong earthquakes caused "our nation profound suffering and pain due to the casualties".

"Each and every form of support that were mobilized help in healing the wounds caused by the disaster of a century. This strong solidarity pouring in from all around the World once again confirm that pain knows no borders; and that tears are shed by us all regardless of ethnicity, faith, language or geography," she wrote.

Erdogan thanked "every friendly country" for extending a helping hand to Türkiye, either by dispatching search and rescue teams or by sending humanitarian aid.

"I wholeheartedly believe that we can surmount any and all challenges as the entire human family, with all our kin, when we firmly join our hands together," she wrote.

"I hope and pray that the spirit of unity and solidarity that emerged out of these very trying times shall sustain during our good days as well, because I would like to express that only in such a World then we shall be able to establish peace and serenity," she added.

Guterres and Erdogan also toured the Zero Waste Digital Exhibition opened at the UN building on the occasion of March 30, International Zero Waste Day.

Erdogan is at UN on the occasion of the International Zero Waste Day.