• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023


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History in the Rubble

Documenting the damage of last month’s earthquakes in Turkey.

Times graphics reporters Anjali Singhvi and Bedel Saget recently traveled to Antakya, a Turkish city badly damaged by February’s earthquakes. Based on their reporting, they published an article this week that walks through the damage in Antakya’s Old City, a commercial and religious hub.

The initial quakes were several weeks ago, but the damage continues to dominate life in much of Turkey and Syria. I spoke with Anjali and Bedel about what they saw in Antakya.

Ashley: What surprised you about Antakya’s destruction?

Bedel: I had in my mind what the destruction would look like, but when you’re driving around and seeing residential building after residential building flattened, it stops you in your tracks. We saw a building split in half — half had collapsed and half was still standing — and we could see an entire dining room set still present on the third floor, as though it were a dollhouse.

Anjali: We also saw so many photographs of missing people placed right outside the damaged buildings. I had assumed they were part of residents’ belongings in that building, but a local journalist told me that families left photos of their loved ones around the site of the rubble so that if someone clears debris or continues the search, those photos might help identify bodies.

Much of Old City was destroyed.Emily Garthwaite for The New York Times

Times graphics reporters often use satellite imagery to reconstruct disaster sites. Why was actually being in Antakya important for this project?

Anjali: Before the trip, I had identified some areas from drone imagery of Antakya that seemed most damaged, and speculated that those areas could be good to cover. But when I was reporting on the ground, all the locals talked about an area I hadn’t considered: Old City, a historic part of Antakya.

Old City was home to so many different kinds of buildings — churches, mosques, a synagogue, restored boutique hotels, jewelry shops, silk stores, a local favorite hummus shop, just real gems. Amid the rubble, we saw government officials putting up signs on various buildings in Old City, labeling them as important cultural assets and warning people not to tamper anymore with the debris. From being there, I saw how Antakya had history in its soil, its buildings and its people. And it was Old City that really brought the community together.

Did you get the sense that residents wanted to stay as Antakya rebuilds?

Bedel: Quite a number of people left if they had the means to: Either they had family in other parts of Turkey or if they had homes elsewhere. But among those who stayed, everyone we spoke to talked about the commitment to rebuild, no matter what.

The things that made Old City a gathering spot — the atmosphere, the aura, the embrace of different cultures — I could feel that’s what they longed for most. I spoke to a young woman, who recently graduated from medical school, who said, “It was good before, but we didn’t understand before we lost our city, how important it was to us.”

See what was lost in Antakya’s Old City, through one street at the heart of the community.

Anjali is a reporter and a former architect whose work at The Times includes reconstructing building disasters, such as a Bronx apartment fire and Miami’s Surfside condo collapse. Bedel joined The Times in 1991, and has covered hurricanes, wildfires and nine Olympic Games.

Rolling Fork, Miss.Rory Doyle for The New York Times

Climate change and human overconsumption are killing the Great Salt Lake, Terry Tempest Williams writes.

A.I. will never replace artists because it cannot experience pain or memory, David Means argues.

Policies to reduce opioid addiction are hurting Americans who need A.D.H.D. meds, Maia Szalavitz argues.

Donald Trump is not above the law. But stretching the law to prosecute him for paying off Stormy Daniels is wrong, says David French.

“Succession” doesn’t just skewer out-of-touch rich people. It depicts how they visit their trauma on the rest of us, says Emily St. James.

The Sunday question: Should the U.S. ban TikTok?

TikTok’s propaganda and privacy risks justify a ban if its Chinese owners won’t sell it, says Bloomberg Opinion’s Julianna Goldman. The evidence that the app threatens U.S. national security is largely anecdotal, Vox’s Sara Morrison counters; banning it would hurt free speech and repel young voters.

A jacaranda tree in Mexico.Marian Carrasquero for The New York Times

Jacarandas in Mexico City: They are a living legacy of a Japanese gardener.

Caitlin Clark: Look at the college basketball player’s threes from the half-court logo.

Occult practice: Archaeologists found iron nails used as talismans in a Roman tomb.

Vows: He never thought he would have a meaningful relationship — until a summer vacation in Turkey.

Sunday routine: A musical saw player is a bell ringer for her church.

Advice from Wirecutter: Treat back pain at home.

Lives lived: Gordon E. Moore was the co-founder of Intel, the California chip maker. His predictions about advances in semiconductors ushered in an era of American tech dominance. He died at 94.

Yosemite’s “Three Brothers,” taken in 1865.Carleton E.Watkins, via Library of Congress

“Guardians of the Valley”: Dean King chronicles the friendship between the naturalist John Muir and a journalist.

Censorship: Efforts to ban books nearly doubled last year.

By the Book: The horror novelist Victor LaValle likes to stare directly at his deepest fears.

Our editors’ picks: “Poverty, by America,” which looks at the persistence of extreme want in a nation of extraordinary wealth, and eight other books.

Times best sellers: Harlan Coben’s “I Will Find You” takes the top spot on the hardcover fiction best-seller list.

Photograph by Naila Ruechel for The New York Times.

On the cover: A journey through the mythic landscape of Jamaica that tourists don’t see.

Three-day food fight: People in an Italian town pelt one another with 900 tons of oranges.

Package trip: Millennials are paying for organized travel to make friends.

Read the full issue.

  • T‌he chief executives of Apple, BMW and other major companies are expected in Beijing this weekend for the China Development Forum, an annual conference on foreign investment.

  • Two weeks after Daylight Saving Time began in the U.S., clocks went forward an hour today in Britain and the European Union.

  • The Hungarian Parliament, one of the last holdouts in ratifying Finland’s bid to join NATO, will hold a vote on it tomorrow.

  • House lawmakers will hold a hearing on Wednesday on regulators’ response to the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

  • The deadline for U.S. federal agencies to remove TikTok from government devices is Wednesday.

  • The Biden administration invited dozens of countries for a summit on democracy beginning Wednesday and co-hosted by several nations.

  • Major League Baseball’s season begins on Thursday.

  • The N.C.A.A. women’s basketball Final Four begins on Friday, and the men’s on Saturday.

  • Saturday is April Fool’s Day.

Linda Xiao for The New York Times Food Stylist: Judy Kim.

The recipes in this week’s Five Weeknight Dishes newsletter, by Emily Weinstein, are meant to help you clean out your fridge. Chicken fried rice is a great vehicle for leftover chicken. Sheet-pan bibimbap will help you use up the stray vegetables in the crisper. And Melissa Clark’s all-purpose green sauce incorporates whatever herbs you have and can go on meat or veggies.

The pangram‌‌ from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was‌ motorway. Here is today’s puzzle.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: “Great job!” (five letters).

Take the news quiz to see how well you followed the week’s headlines.

Here’s today’s Wordle.

Thanks for spending part of your weekend with The Times.

Read today’s front page.

Lauren Hard, Lauren Jackson, Claire Moses, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Tom Wright-Piersanti and Ashley Wu contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at themorning@nytimes.com.

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