‘Half of Istanbul homes are not quake resistant’
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey has 20 million houses and the upcoming urban transformation process will result in the renovation of 6.6 million of them, according to Minister Bayraktar. Hürriyet photoAs the countdown to the start of Turkey’s massive urban transformation process continues, Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar said half of Istanbul’s housing structures were not earthquake resistant.
“The number of houses in Istanbul has passed four million and more than half of them are not resistant to a possible earthquake,” he said. Speaking at the opening ceremony for the “Sectors meet in urban transformation conference,” in Istanbul, Bayraktar said Turkey had 20 million houses in total and the upcoming urban transformation process will result in the renovation of 6.6 million older buildings.
Bayraktar also said that following the İzmit Earthquake, which killed more than 18,000 people on Aug. 17, 1999, Turkey took steps to secure its building audit.
“After 2000, nearly 6 million new houses have been built and some 90 percent of them are earthquake proof,” he said, adding that Turkey was still not at the point they desired.
Nearly 8 million buildings in Turkey are located on earthquake zones, Bayraktar said.
“6.6 million of them need to be renovated,” he said.
Bayraktar also slammed those who criticize the urban transformation process.
“Istanbul will lead the urban transformation wave. Righteous criticisms contribute to us and I call on them not to be betrayers to the ones who try to stop urban transformation. Do not block this project. If we will not do it, we will do a fade-out,” he said.
Turkey’s multi-billion dollar urban transformation project, which is expected to keep the local construction sector active for years to come, will begin Oct. 5 with an initial phase that includes the demolition of 150 public buildings in 33 provinces.