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Unal Turkey Earthquake

Unal Turkey Earthquake

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US/ICOMOS International Symposium, March 2009 in New Orleans
New Approaches and Regulations in Cultural Heritage and Disaster Management afterthe 1999 Marmara Earthquake: Istanbul-Turkey CaseZ.Gül Ünal
z Technical University Faculty of Architecture Restoration Depratment(National Comitee Member of ICOMOS TURKEY – US/ICOMOS 1994 Intern)gkarsli@yildiz.edu.tr – zgulunal@gmail.com
“Disaster is virtue’s opportunity.” - Seneca
This research aims to define the point reached in new studies and regulations related to risk management in natural or human caused disasters in general within the country andsignificantly in the cultural heritage sites, in line with the problems faced and lessons learnedduring and after the disaster, after 10 years have passed over the latest massive naturaldisaster that Turkey had faced.The disaster which occurred in August 17, 1999 and which was officially registered as theMarmara Earthquake, was one of the most massive natural disasters that Turkey has livedthrough lately. The earthquake took place in a region which has the highest population in thecountry. According to the official records 17,840 lost their lives and 43,530 were injured.Approximately 77,000 buildings were severely damaged. The disaster affected directly or indirectly around 16 million people. Due to the fact that the major industrial and trade centersof the country have been located in this region, the economic loss was great. The declarednumber was 10-15 billion USD primary economy loss.The Historic Peninsula of Istanbul, registered in the World Heritage List since 1985, was oneof the most important sites that had been affected by the earthquake. 10% of the buildings thatwere damaged during the Marmara Earthquake were located on the Historic Peninsula andcompared to the whole area affected by the earthquake, the proportion of the damaged areawas considerably high in the Historic Peninsula.Istanbul was actually caught unprepared to the expected disaster. The region has been over anactive fault line and according to the written resources, within the late 2000 years, 120destructive earthquakes had taken place in Istanbul. The latest scientific researches wererevealing that the possibility of occurrence of an earthquake in Istanbul with such a magnitudewas 32% +- 12%. A.
The inadequacy of disaster management in the Marmara Earthquake had increased thenumber of loss of life and property, and had caused problems related to communication,wreck removal, sheltering and distribution of the aid arriving to the region. Despite all thewell-intentioned efforts, depending on the mentioned inadequacies, there had been a delay ondetection and organization of the damages, rehabilitation and restoration of life back tonormal.B.
After the Marmara Earthquake, the factors that caused the hazard of the disaster to belarger and the problems faced after the disaster required to take the disaster management of the country under scrutiny. The governmental institutions related to the subject, universitiesand NGOs have discussed the problems and likely solutions in national and international1
 platforms. All these studies put forth the need of change in the national politics on approachto concept of disaster.The government started
 Preparation-Risk Reduction-Disaster Managementstudies, whichwill convert the crisis management to risk management,
by gathering institutions working inthe field and with the support of international organizations of countries with experience inthe subject. Some of these studies are put in practice in the whole country while some areapplied specifically in Istanbul.Today 10 years have past over the Marmara Earthquake. The legal and administrativeregulations, and the projects actualized within this time can be summarized under two titles: projects and applications realized countrywide and specifically in Istanbul.
Legal regulations realized countrywidea.
Name of law:
Law of Mandatory Earthquake Insurance (law no. 587)
Authority of Natural Disasters Insurances is founded with the support of theTurkish Government and The World Bank. The aim is to solve the problem of earthquake insurance in developing countries with a high risk of disaster, and to reducethe loss through insurance.
The World Bank 
Name of law:
Law of Professional Competency (law no. 601) 
To audit the professional competency of civil engineers and architects that work directly on construction through exams
Name of law:
Law of Building Inspection (law no. 4721)
Regulating the quality building production
Name of law:
Establishment of Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate
It aims to gather all powers related to risk and crisis management and reduction of damage during a disaster that could take place in the country, under one institution.Accordingly, it is suggested to establish the Disaster and Emergency ManagementDirectorate which joins three important institutions on disasters in Turkey, under PrimeMinistry.
The law is being voted in The Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA)2
Projects realized for Istanbula. ISMEP (Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and EmergencyPreparedness Project)Aim:
To initiate the process of preparation of Istanbul for an earthquake which isexpected to happen within 10-20 years. The project carries out studies with the major titles: preparation for emergencies, reduction of seismic hazards in public spaces,reinforcement of building foundations.
It is aimed to execute risk reduction in heritage sites and historic buildings,reinforcement for earthquake, development of response plan in the context of this project.
It went in effect in February 2006, and its application has begun.
JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)
Preparation of Earthquake Master Plan for IstanbulAim:
It aims to create a strategic document in order to reduce physical, social and public vulnerability in case of a probable earthquake in Istanbul.
Under the coordination of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, four major universities of the country came together and created this plan. It is being tested in Zeytinburnu, whichhouses Istanbul’s significant historic buildings.
July 2003
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, YTÜ, ITU,METU, BU, JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)
stanbul Office of Governor,
Istanbul Provincial DisasterManagement CenterAim:
A unit which has been organised to operate non-stop for 24 hours, in case of emergency, in order to coordinate teams which perform disaster prevention legally, andfollowing up and controlling these services.
Founded in January 1
, 2000

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