Turkey did not decide to leave NATO and the consulates were not closed because of the earthquake

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We assess the post fact-checked as untrue. It is not true to claim that the earthquake was a geologically produced attack, that the diplomats were withdrawn due to the earthquake and that Turkey decided to leave NATO. As far as the false claims related to Covid vaccines and pandemic are concerned – as mentioned by senator Diana Iovanovici – they have already been debunked several times by Truthmeter, writes Truthmeter.mk.

Under the content-sharing agreement between Truthmeter.mk and Meta.mk, we republish the text below:


We are fact-checking a post published on the social network Facebook, sharing a video address that the post claims that it belongs to a Member of the Parliament of Romania. According to the author of the post, the Member of Parliament said that the earthquake in Turkey and Syria was predicted five days in advance and that approximately 10 ambassadors were withdrawn ahead of their time.

Turkey is the second most powerful military force in NATO that decided to pull out of the organization, claims the post we are fact-checking.

Once the video shared in this post is heard, it becomes clear that not a word of what the author is claiming is there.

Quite the opposite, senator Diana Iovanovici says in the video ”almost three years we are experiencing a massive murder campaign either through an alleged pandemic and the need to inject untested vaccines that kill people, or through wars that globally reduce world’s population”.

In the upper right corner of the video, Info Team is written.

Senator Iovanovici is known as one of the main figures of the Romanian anti-vaxxer movement who supports the view that Romania should leave the EU. There are unprecedented scandalous stories related to this politician. For example, in December 2021, the Italian television Rai Uno informed that the senator falsely accused journalist Lucia Goracci for possessing drugs and that she had stolen documents from her when she was interviewing her concerning the Covid pandemic. The senator’s accusations led to the arrest of the journalist by the Police who was released but only after the intervention of the Italian Embassy in Romania. Neither drugs, nor stolen documents were found in the possеssion of the journalist.

This senator has been critisized by Romanian media for her close relations with Russia, while the Russian state-controlled medium “Sputnik” declared her Politician of the Year in Romania for 2021. In the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Iovanovici together with three other politicians, met with the Russian Ambassador in Bucarest to compose a Memorandum discussing Romania’s neutral position in the invasion, without the consent of the Parliament’s leadership. One of the Members of Parliament was excluded from the party immediately after this meeting. The hacker group Killnet also extended support for this politician. In 2022, Killnet performed a series of cyber-attacks on several Romanian sites once she said that Romania should not intervene in the war.

Truthmeter found the full speech of senator Diana Iovanovici. The video with the full speech was removed from YouTube in the meantime due to violating the standards of the community. But, before being removed, we had the opportunity to see it and this is what she is saying:

We are witnessing produced earthquakes. That is an attack on Turkey by world leaders. The Turkish neutral position and the mediation in the Ukrainian-Russian war is deeply disturbing, especially since Turkey is the second most powerful force in NATO. The position to block Sweden’s entry into NATO and the speech in Davos, as well as leaving in the middle of the conference just to spite Klaus Schwab was not left without a response by the hard and cold world of global leaders. But no-one assumed that people would have to be killed. So many people and so despicable… and that is just a warning although that region does not have a large number of inhabitants.

After that the senator talks about ”the geological weapon being used previously but without a great number of victims, but now it is applied in practice” and she accuses that ”24 hours before the earthquake, 10 countries pulled their ambassador out of the country“.

The earthquake in Turkey and Syria took place on Monday, 6th February. Closing down the consulates however, is not related to the earthquake, nor was it a planned attack on Turkey as falsely claimed by the post. Closing down the consuates was the consequence of Turkey suspending the talks of Sweden and Finland for NATO membership last month following the protest in Stockholm during which a copy of the Quran was burned. Germany closed its consulate over risk of attacks.

Following recent cases in several European capitals where the Quran was publicly burned, security agencies believe the risk of terrorist attacks in Istanbul has increased, said the official announcement.

In addition, consulates were closed down in Istanbul, while Istanbul was not hit by an earthquake.

Erdogan does not mention foolish things like those expressed by the senator, that the West fixed an earthquake. France, Germany, Italy and the USA published statements for their citizens over increased attack risks in Turkey, especially against diplomatic missions and non-Muslim religious buildings. Germany, France and The Netherlands were some of the countries that temporally closed down their diplomatic missions in Turkey for security reasons.

It is untrue that Turkey is pulling out from NATO. There is no such decision, nor is anyone considering such a thing.

Ankara is not considering the possibility of withdrawing from NATO, said two weeks ago Omer Celik, spokesman for the Justice and Development Party (AK) of the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once such speculations started spreading publicly.

For an interview for CNN Turk, he said:

We face such things in every election (calls for ending Turkey’s membership in NATO). These are not the things that we will worry about. Those who call for terminating Turkey’s membership of NATO do not talk sense. This is out of the question. We are one of the founding countries of NATO. They have no right to say such things. What they say would be a luxury for NATO.

Turkey sits in a hot-spot for earthquakes.

Three tectonic plates – the Arabian, Anatolian and African plates – meet in this region, and as they slide past and squeeze against each other, they build up friction and stress that gets released as earthquakes, explains Yaareb Altaweel, a seismologist at the National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado.

The Arabian plate is plowing northward at a rate of about 11 millimetres (just under a half-inch) per year, said Stephen Hicks, seismologist at University College London. Turkey, which sits on the Anatolian plate is therefore being squeezed westward. That movement means Turkey has two major faults where earthquakes originate: the 930-mile-long North Anatolian fault and the more than 300-mile-long East Anatolian fault.

Seyhun Puskulcu, a seismologist and coordinator of the Turkish Earthquake Foundation, based in Instanbul, says people in Turkey are well aware of their vulnerability to earthquakes. This earthquake wasn’t a surprise.

The Atlantic Council warns that there are an increasing number of social media posts sharing consipracy theories on the possible “man-made” character of the catastrophe, allegedly aimed at weakening Turkey after rising tensions with its Western allies.

These malign efforts to influence public perception about the tragedy should be taken seriously, states the analysis of the Atlantic Council.

Publicly, theories are shared about the HAARP-system causing the earthquake, but that was soon denied by Turkish experts saying that such claims are ”the most foolish thing they have ever heard in their lives”.

Due to the all of the above-noted facts, we assess the fact-checked post as untrue. It is not true that the earthquake was a geologically produced attack, nor that the withdrawal of the diplomats was due to the earthquake and neither has Turkey decided to leave NATO. Concerning the untrue information related to Covid vaccines and the pandemic mentioned by the senator, Truthmeter has debunked such statements several times already, for example here, here and here.