12th US/ICOMOS International Symposium, March 2009 in New Orleans

New Approaches and Regulations in Cultural Heritage and Disaster Management after the 1999 Marmara Earthquake: Istanbul-Turkey Case Z.Gül Ünal
Ass.Prof.Dr. Yıldız 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 and significantly in the cultural heritage sites, in line with the problems faced and lessons learned during and after the disaster, after 10 years have passed over the latest massive natural disaster that Turkey had faced. The disaster which occurred in August 17, 1999 and which was officially registered as the Marmara Earthquake, was one of the most massive natural disasters that Turkey has lived through lately. The earthquake took place in a region which has the highest population in the country. 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 centers of the country have been located in this region, the economic loss was great. The declared number was 10-15 billion USD primary economy loss. The Historic Peninsula of Istanbul, registered in the World Heritage List since 1985, was one of the most important sites that had been affected by the earthquake. 10% of the buildings that were damaged during the Marmara Earthquake were located on the Historic Peninsula and compared to the whole area affected by the earthquake, the proportion of the damaged area was considerably high in the Historic Peninsula. Istanbul was actually caught unprepared to the expected disaster. The region has been over an active fault line and according to the written resources, within the late 2000 years, 120 destructive earthquakes had taken place in Istanbul. The latest scientific researches were revealing that the possibility of occurrence of an earthquake in Istanbul with such a magnitude was 32% +- 12%. A. The inadequacy of disaster management in the Marmara Earthquake had increased the number 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 the well-intentioned efforts, depending on the mentioned inadequacies, there had been a delay on detection and organization of the damages, rehabilitation and restoration of life back to normal. B. After the Marmara Earthquake, the factors that caused the hazard of the disaster to be larger 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, universities and NGOs have discussed the problems and likely solutions in national and international 1

platforms. All these studies put forth the need of change in the national politics on approach to concept of disaster. The government started Preparation-Risk Reduction-Disaster Managementstudies, which will convert the crisis management to risk management, by gathering institutions working in the field and with the support of international organizations of countries with experience in the subject. Some of these studies are put in practice in the whole country while some are applied specifically in Istanbul. Today 10 years have past over the Marmara Earthquake. The legal and administrative regulations, and the projects actualized within this time can be summarized under two titles: projects and applications realized countrywide and specifically in Istanbul. 1. Legal regulations realized countrywide a. Name of law: Law of Mandatory Earthquake Insurance (law no. 587) Date: 1999 Aim: Authority of Natural Disasters Insurances is founded with the support of the Turkish 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 reduce the loss through insurance. Partner: The World Bank b. Name of law: Law of Professional Competency (law no. 601) Date: 2000 Aim: To audit the professional competency of civil engineers and architects that work directly on construction through exams c. Name of law: Law of Building Inspection (law no. 4721) Date: 2001 Aim: Regulating the quality building production d. Name of law: Establishment of Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate Aim: 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 Management Directorate which joins three important institutions on disasters in Turkey, under Prime Ministry. Date: The law is being voted in The Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA)


2. Projects realized for Istanbul a. ISMEP (Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project) Aim: To initiate the process of preparation of Istanbul for an earthquake which is expected 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. Date: It went in effect in February 2006, and its application has begun. Partner: JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) b. Preparation of Earthquake Master Plan for Istanbul Aim: 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, which houses Istanbul’s significant historic buildings. Date: July 2003 Partners: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, YTÜ, ITU, METU, BU, JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) c. İstanbul Office of Governor, Directorate of Istanbul Provincial Disaster Management Center Aim: 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, and following up and controlling these services. Date: Founded in January 1st, 2000


Conclusion All of the projects, whose outlines are described above, are encouraging in the sense that they show an important advance in risk reduction, disaster management and rehabilitation. On the other hand, when those projects concerning the cultural heritage are evaluated, it is seen that the structure of the project could not be developed in accordance to these sites and buildings. Besides, the pilot scheme has has shown that the construction of the project causes coordination problems in applications concerning historic sites and buildings. As a result, we see that achievement in case of historic buildings and sites is insufficient. In fact, the majority of the historic buildings in Istanbul are located in The Historic Peninsula, which is registered in the World Heritage List, and this area is one of the regions where the risk of disaster is the highest. Precautions have to be taken urgently. For the case of a disaster which will happen in an indefinite time, but will definitely happen; it is a necessity to develop significant strategies oriented to the preservation of cultural heritage. It will be appropriate to establish a new organisation, under Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which will serve in disaster mitigation and management in Cultural Heritage; and the studies to be described not as part of the general project scheme described above, but as a separate module. For this; • The inventory of the historic buildings and sites should be prepared without taking ownership into consideration, • All the data related to the historical buildings should be gathered in an “Information System for Disaster Mitigation of Cultural Heritage” generated in this institution, which is also kept in an emergency data processing center in another physical space, and which can be activated from various physical spaces in case of a disaster, • The earthquake performance evaluation studies, especially in historic buildings should be expedited and the buildings with intervention priorities should be determined, • The condition of the buildings should be controlled periodically, • Special security precautions should be taken especially in historic buildings with functions creating a high risk of terror attacks and if possible the functions of these buildings should be changed, • Special interest groups of specialists who can evaluate the condition of the historic buildings after the disaster, if possible international, should be formed and these groups should be coordinated in the case of emergency, • Maps of traditional construction systems according to regions should be created in order to help the international search and rescue teams, who are unfamiliar to the region’s traditional construction system, during the disaster response. With the wish of showing our virtues in studies on preservation of cultural heritage and discussing possible disaster scenarios instead of the disasters themselves in such meetings. 4

Selected Bibliography Bayer J.L., Varí , “Afet Sigortası Tasarımında Model Temelli Bir Sosyal Paydaş Yaklaşımı”, pp: 117-118, Afet Risk Yönetimi, Marmara Üniversitesi Kent Sorunları ve Yerel Yönetimler Araştırma ve Uygulama Merkezi & World Bank Yayını, Istanbu 2007. Donaldson, M.W., “The Firs Ten Days: Emergency Response and Protection Strategies for the Preservation of Historic Structures”, pp: 25-28, Disaster Management Programs for Historic Sites, Editors; Spennemann,H.R. D., Look W.D., Digital Edition 2004. Keleş, R., “Afet Yönetimi Açısından Türkiye’de Merkezi ve Yerel Yönetim”, pp: 18-22, Afet Risk Yönetimi, Marmara Üniversitesi Kent Sorunları ve Yerel Yönetimler Araştırma ve Uygulama Merkezi & World Bank Yayını, Istanbu 2007. Ekin-Erkan, N., Güner A., Demeret Katerin., “Risk Azaltılmasında Yerel Yönetimlerin Rolü”,pp: 3-5, Afet Risk Yönetimi, Marmara Üniversitesi Kent Sorunları ve Yerel Yönetimler Araştırma ve Uygulama Merkezi & World Bank Yayını, Istanbu 2007. Yazıcı Çakın o., İlkışık O.M., Aslaner E., İmer P., Tolak E., Yelkenci S., “Dünya Büyükşehirleri’nden Bazıları İle İstanbul’un Risk ve Afet Yönetim Sistemlerinin Karşılaştırılması – A Comperison of Disaster Risk Management Systems Between Selected Mega Cities and Istanbul”, pp: 723-724, International Earthquake Symposium Kocaeli 2226 October 2007, TURKEY. www.tepav.org.tr/tur/admin/dosyabul/upload/istanbulsismikriskinazaltilmasiveacildurumhazir lik.ppt


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