Turkiye earthquake lies on the Anatolian Plate, sandwiched between two major faults: the East Anatolian Fault and the North Anatolian Fault. In the eastern rift, the Arabian Plate, which supports Syria along with the rest of Arabia, collides with the Anatolian Plate, pushing Turkey westward at a rate of about two centimeters per year.
This means that already earthquake-prone Turkey and Syria could face similar disasters in the future.
As accurate earthquake forecasting remains an inaccurate science, the only way forward is to try to reduce or mitigate turkiye earthquake the damage caused by such natural disasters; The magnitude of the current earthquake is such that it was evidently impossible to avoid mass destruction, but as more details emerge it is becoming clearer that negligence and violations of building codes played a large part in compounding the disaster.
The last major earthquake in Turkey occurred in Izmit in 1999, killing 17,000 people. Public anger soon turned against prominent businessmen and developers such as Metin Kocal in the resort town of Yalova, whose many six-story luxury apartment buildings collapsed like a house of cards, killing dozens.
Metin and other builders have been accused of speculating while ignoring building codes and regulations to maximize profits, and when rescuers combed the ruins they found concrete rubble “filled with so much grit you could get your hands on it.” crumbled” and much finer steel rods required that right.
The local governor argued that the magnitude of the quake was such that even compliant buildings would collapse, but the turkiye eathquake fact is that buildings alongside those that did not meet standards remained.
Builders were denounced from mosque pulpits, pilloried in the media, and threatened with government lawsuits, leading to changes in building regulations across Turkey. Everything was fine on paper, but in reality, the situation was very different.
When asked about substandard construction’s role in increasing damage and deaths in the 2023 turkiye earthquake, Turkish journalist Ragip Soylu said the “vast majority” of buildings did not meet “established standards” for safe construction.
Poor construction contributed to the devastation.
A scene similar to that in Yalova in 1999 occurred after the sustained earthquake in the city of Hatay, where the palatial Renaissance mansion, dubbed “a corner of heaven,” collapsed completely while neighboring buildings survived. The entrepreneur was later arrested at Istanbul airport while trying to flee to Montenegro.
One reason for this is the retrospective amnesties for buildings not built under the Code, which essentially offered exemptions and turkiye earthquake exoneration certificates in exchange for fines and payments. The proceeds from this have been substantial as a new amnesty program awaits approval days before the earthquake.
Turkey has passed 19 such amnesty laws since 1948, and the ruling AKP party has previously rejected 58 calls by opposition politicians for independent oversight of building security.
What role did amnesties play? Turkish engineer Pelin Giritliogu said more than 75,000 buildings benefited from the construction amnesty in the southern area of the turkiye earthquake alone. Once the salvage work is complete, an investigation will show how many of these buildings actually survive compared to the few standard buildings.
An example of such a building was found in the city of Kahramanmaras, where the only remaining building was the Chamber of Civil Engineers, located in the middle of the ruined city.
Worryingly, many new buildings built ‘officially’ under regulations have also collapsed – the 2018 regulation required the use of high-quality concrete, reinforced with steel bars and reinforced with staggered columns and beams.
Residential buildings advertised as “completed to the latest earthquake standards” collapsed to dust. Here the role of the corrupt officials who approved such construction is questioned.
As the shock wears off, anger grows in Turkiye earthquake and a call for action: More than 170 lawyers across Turkey have filed a joint criminal complaint against the contractors behind the collapsed buildings, demanding their cession to Turkiye earthquake.
The equivalent of the output checklist. They also called for government officials to be brought to justice for allowing buildings to be erected in violation of the regulations.
What happened in Turkie earthquake is a natural disaster, almost certainly compounded by human greed and carelessness. Here are the lessons not only for Turkey but also for Pakistan, which is also a seismic country. And we know exactly what our standards are.