Several social media users are engaged in what some are calling a “conspiracy theory” where they believe that the earthquake in Turkey and neighbouring Syria was created by the United States using the American “HAARP” technology.
Since last night, the hashtag #HAARP has been trending on Twitter, receiving more than 100,000 tweets.
Another Twitter user wrote: “Three weeks ago, Serkan Karabakh of FETO said there would be a 7.4 magnitude earthquake. The American ship anchored in Turkey and the button was pressed! The embassies were closed and members were recalled.”
Another user wrote: “These clouds appeared as a result of the US weapon Haarp energising the ionosphere to create an artificial earthquake on February 2, 2023. Wanting to create an artificial earthquake in Istanbul, they deliberately closed the consulates.”
“Those who still say conspiracy theory, you will understand by experience,” warned another.
However, the truth is that nobody really knows. Neither any official statement on the matter has been released nor any scientist has approved the theory.
What is HAARP?
It stands for “High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program”.
The American research initiative called HAARP has been active since the early 1990s. Although the project has a number of goals, radio communication technology advancement is considered to be its primary focus.
“HAARP is the world's most capable high-power, high-frequency transmitter for study of the ionosphere,” a university release by the Univerity of Alaska reads.
“Operation of the research facility was transferred from the United States Air Force to the University of Alaska Fairbanks on August 11, 2015, allowing HAARP to continue with exploration of ionospheric phenomenology via a land-use cooperative research and development agreement,” it continues.
Many people who use social media think that HAARP is being used to punish Turkey for refusing to work with the West.
“No such thing as coincidence,” a user said.
Several users pointed to lighting that was visible before the disastrous quake hit.
Frank Hoogerbeets, a Dutch seismology expert, foresaw the earthquake. How he foresaw the catastrophe just three days earlier is another question people are asking.
However, all the allegations and remarks come from social media users and no Turkish official has recorded any such statement. Therefore, the United States has not responded to the accusations.
A 2017 study published in Science Advances came to the conclusion that both naturally occurring and human-caused earthquakes have a similar potential for shaking and damage.
The research program currently at the centre of the rumours has not claimed anywhere to have the power to induce quakes. In October 2022, HAARP began its largest set of experiments at its new observatory but did not mention earthquakes.