‘Riskiest’ buildings to be determined in Turkey
Turkey’s Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum has issued a circular to all municipalities to determine the most risk-bearing buildings and report their findings to the ministry, in a bid to accelerate urban transformation works.
“As part of the vision of 2023, our ministry was in need of a new approach to solve the problems encountered in the implementation of urban transformation, to improve the transformation process and to ensure that urban transformation in the settlement scale is managed in a holistic way,” Kurum stressed in the circular dated Feb. 19.
The minister has asked all provinces’ and districts’ municipalities to prepare documents on urban transformation strategies, specify especially the riskiest areas and submit their reports to the ministry in three months’ time.
Kurum had previously announced plans for every province having its own “urban transformation constitution” at a conference on urban transformation on Feb. 6.
According to the ministry’s new urban transformation policies, all the transformation works will be conducted in accordance with the strategic documents the municipalities prepare.
The risk factors, the public’s expectations, financial analyses, environmental impacts and the need for residences and work places will be taken into consideration when determining the transformation works.
The minister’s circular came following the collapse of a seven-story building in Istanbul’s residential Kartal district on Feb. 6.
Twenty-one people died in the collapse and 14 people were rescued from the debris.
Turkish media reported that three floors of the structure had been built illegally.
The allegations that some columns carrying the building were removed and sea sand was used in the construction will also be investigated, according to judicial sources.
During a visit to the scene of the collapse on Feb. 9, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to take necessary measures. “We have a great number of lessons to learn from this,” he added.
In connection with the deadly collapse, two people were arrested on Feb. 14.
The project head of the building, Suzan Çayır, and the construction’s technician, Uğur Mısırlıoğlu, were arrested after a verdict by the Anadolu 2nd Criminal Court of Peace on charges of “reckless killing and injury.”