Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders gathered Tuesday in the US capital Washington, D.C. for a prayer service for the victims of last week’s devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.
The service was organized by Elpidophoros, the Greek Orthodox archbishop of America, at Georgetown University.
"As someone born in and reared in Türkiye, where I have spent the majority of my life, I am shaken to the core by the sheer magnitude of the loss," said the archbishop.
The event was attended by Turkish Ambassador to the US Hasan Murat Mercan, Turkish Embassy Religious Services Counselor Bilal Kuspinar and Nurullah Celebi, one of the imams of the Diyanet Center of America, as well as Bishop Denis J. Madden of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Mor Dionysius John Kawak and Archbishop Vicken Aykazyan of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
It was also attended by Rabbi Richard Marker of the International Jewish Committee on Inter-religious Consultations and Jason Isaacson of the American Jewish Committee.
Ambassador Mercan expressed his gratitude for the support extended to the earthquake-hit areas.
At least 35,418 people were killed by two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye on Feb. 6, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 tremors were centered in Kahramanmaras and struck nine other provinces – Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa. More than 13 million people have been affected by the quakes.