7.5 million structures in Turkey to be renewed with urban transformation, PM Yıldırım says

7.5 million structures in Turkey to be renewed with urban transformation, PM Yıldırım says

KOCAELİ - Doğan News Agency
7.5 million structures in Turkey to be renewed with urban transformation, PM Yıldırım says

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Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Aug. 16 that a total of 7.5 million structures in Turkey need to be renewed as part of urban transformation projects to make them more resistant to earthquakes of high magnitudes.

Yıldırım made the comments in the western province of Kocaeli during a sod-turning ceremony of an urban transformation project.

“Although we have covered important ground in Kocaeli, we want to tell you we still have a lot of things to do. Today, including Kocaeli, partially in Istanbul and in [the Aegean province of] İzmir, we are initiating the urban transformation of risky areas. When its size is taken into account, this is not something to be completed from today to tomorrow. We have 7.5 million existing structures to be transformed. If we spread this over the years, we can complete this only by constantly undertaking in the transformation for 10-15 years, with half a million structures per year,” Yıldırım noted.

Such an enormous transformation through the country requires a budget over $100 billion, according to the prime minister. “Our municipalities are trying to undertake this transformation by creating their own resources. And while doing this, they are in an endeavor not to disregard the needs of those living in cities and to keep the common living space of our citizens. For the last 15 years, we are working in every area for the reconstruction of Turkey,” he said.

The prime minister also gave statistics on how many structures in the country have so far been renewed with urban transformation projects. “In 15 years, we have constructed 780,000 dwellings. In 81 provinces, the [urban] transformation of 1,076,000 buildings have started. The target is four million until the year 2023. Until 2030, more than seven million dwellings will be reconstructed and the [urban] transformation project will be completed,” he said. 

“We are undertaking investments in many areas that are durable for high magnitude quakes, with dwelling infrastructure investment being first priority. In the last 15 years, infrastructure projects such as roads, tunnel, and bridges have been undertaken and realized with the framework of earthquake regulations. We take into account this reality in mega projects that we have done until now and will continue to do. Marmaray [the sea tunnel in Istanbul] and the Eurasia Tunnel [road tunnel in Istanbul] are places that are close to earthquake routes. All of the mega projects, such as the Osman Gazi Bridge, have been constructed in line with a nine or higher magnitude quake. It is not enough that our investments and projects are durable for the quake, but we need to conduct the biggest transformation in the cities,” he said.