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On Monday, 6 February 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria. As of writing this piece, more than 15,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands injured. Thousands of buildings collapsed and aid agencies are more worried than ever before about the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding. To further endanger survivors and complicate rescue efforts, freezing weather conditions are persisting in what is the depth of winter in that part of the world.

Since Monday to now, the acronym HAARP has been trending on Twitter and being described by some as the cause of the earthquake. Of course, this is enough to get me thinking; is there any reason to believe that this is true? First, I would ask the question whether or not earthquakes are common in Turkey, and secondly, what exactly is HAARP?

Turkey sits on one of the most seismic areas in the entire world and has been hit by a number of powerful earthquakes in the past. The country sits on the Anatolian plate, which is situated between the Eurasian and African plates. The Anatolian plate is formed from the North Anatolian fault and the East Anatolian fault. In terms of the geology of the region, nothing would suggest anything sinister about the earthquake or why it took place. It is a tragedy, to be sure, but there is nothing to suggest any dark motive or reason behind why it took place.

So, about HAARP. The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Programme (HAARP) was initiated as an ionospheric research programme jointly funded by the US Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It was designed and built by BAE Advanced Technologies. Its original purpose was to analyse the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancements technology for radio communications and surveillance.