District suffers no loss in devastating quakes

District suffers no loss in devastating quakes

District suffers no loss in devastating quakes

No buildings were destroyed in Hatay’s Erzin district during the devastating earthquakes that jolted the southern provinces, with the mayor announcing that there are no casualties in the district as he has not allowed illegal construction.

Only some houses and the minarets of mosques were damaged in Erzin with a population of 42,000, though Hatay was one of the provinces hit hardest by earthquakes centered in the nearby province of Kahramanmaraş.

“We do not have any debris, casualties or injuries due to the earthquakes,” Ökkeş Elmasoğlu said, expressing his condolences to his residents caught by the quakes in other districts of the city.

“I have not allowed illegal construction in any way. Despite this, there were some who tried. Though we could not follow them at first as we did not have enough personnel, we later reported them to the prosecutor’s office and we took demolition decisions,” he said.

The mayor also pointed out that the majority of the houses in the district are either detached or four-story, while the highest number of floors is six, which is very few.

Stressing that there is a need for “a total mentality change” in terms of the building stock in Türkiye, Elmasoğlu said, “For this, we need our citizens not to expect any concessions from the state for illegal construction, not to resort to such initiatives, and decisive steps to demolish these buildings when necessary.”

“We need control mechanisms to function more smoothly,” he added.