Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

After earthquake, Istanbul gripped by fear that bigger disaster awaits

After earthquake, Istanbul gripped by fear that bigger disaster awaits

The deadliest earthquake in Turkiye’s modern history has reawakened fears on the other side of the country that Istanbul is an even bigger disaster waiting to happen, sending hundreds of thousands scrambling to find safer homes.
Some 5 million of the 16 million residents of Turkiye’s largest city live in risky homes, official data show, given it lies just north of a faultline crossing the Marmara Sea in the northwest of the country.

Since tremors devastated the southeast on Feb. 6, killing more than 50,000, anxiety has gripped the metropolis and revived memories of a 1999 earthquake that killed 17,000 in the region.

Tens of thousands of buildings collapsed in the February quake, drawing accusations that lax building standards across Turkiye generally had contributed to the disaster and fueling concerns about the soundness of many aging buildings in Istanbul. Since the quake, the number of applications in Istanbul to demolish and reconstruct at risk homes — where nearly 500,000 people live — has tripled. The scramble has also exacerbated already sky-high rental housing prices.

“I was conscious of the risk in Istanbul but when such a big earthquake happened it started to feel more real and I began to have anxiety,” said Sevim Aydemir, 25, whose uncle and friends were killed in the quake in the southern city of Antakya.

Fear that another tragedy could strike forced her to leave Istanbul because she could not afford a new apartment there, she said.

Similar fears spread after the 1999 quake but subsided over time.

It is unclear how many people have left Istanbul in the last two months.

Ali Ayilmazdir, head of a home movers’ association, said 15-20 people were now calling companies to request moves each day, compared to 3-5 before the February quake.

The preoccupation with safe housing comes ahead of May 14 elections seen as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s biggest political challenge in his two decades in power.

According to a 2019 report by seismologists, a 7.5 magnitude quake — similar to the one in February — would at least moderately damage 17 percent of the 1.17 million buildings in Istanbul, which straddles the Bosphorus strait dividing Europe and Asia.

However, seismologists said the February disaster has not changed the likelihood of an Istanbul quake, with the two areas on different faultlines.

Yet many residents say they feel trapped by a cost-of-living crisis after inflation surged to a 24-year peak above 85 percent in October and with fewer prospects of finding work elsewhere.

Any disaster in Istanbul would stagger Turkiye’s economy given the broader Marmara region accounts for some 41 percent of national GDP.

Nilay, a doctoral student and new mother, has sought to leave but feels stuck as her husband’s work in finance requires him to be in the city, while safer districts are out of their price range.

“It is impossible to move to places that are said to have more solid ground because of the rising prices after the earthquake,” said Nilay, who lives in the high-risk district of Avcilar by the Marmara Sea.

Turkish rental prices leapt 190 percent in February from a year earlier, with Istanbul rents up 138 percent, according to Bahcesehir University Economic and
Social Research Center, sharply higher than consumer price inflation of 55 percent in February.

Many of those unable to move have instead sought peace of mind by requesting surveys to determine their buildings’ safety, with some 70 percent of buildings constructed before the building code was sharply tightened in 2000.

Some 1.5 million homes are considered at risk in the city, Urban Planning Minister Murat Kurum said this week.

According to official data, an average of more than three people live in each household, meaning up to 5 million live in these properties.

Istanbul municipality’s housing agency KIPTAS says it has received applications to demolish and rebuild at cost price 490,000 homes.

That amounts to 25,000 applications, up from 8,600 before the quake. However, just 200 have reached the construction stage as at least two-thirds of residents in a building must agree to the project, KIPTAS said.

“Unfortunately the fear of this recent quake was not enough to push people for a compromise and agree on rebuilding their homes,” said KIPTAS general manager Ali Kurt.

“People need to accept that their homes are risky.”

More than 150,000 applications have also been made to the municipality requesting assessments of their buildings’ soundness, with processing expected to take a year.

However, fears of what those tests will show are holding many people back.

“This old building is not going to get high marks. There is no need to see that in writing,” said Nurten, 76, a retired civil servant living on Istanbul’s Asian side.

“What if later I am asked to vacate my property? I can’t face that.”
AI Disclaimer: An advanced artificial intelligence (AI) system generated the content of this page on its own. This innovative technology conducts extensive research from a variety of reliable sources, performs rigorous fact-checking and verification, cleans up and balances biased or manipulated content, and presents a minimal factual summary that is just enough yet essential for you to function as an informed and educated citizen. Please keep in mind, however, that this system is an evolving technology, and as a result, the article may contain accidental inaccuracies or errors. We urge you to help us improve our site by reporting any inaccuracies you find using the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page. Your helpful feedback helps us improve our system and deliver more precise content. When you find an article of interest here, please look for the full and extensive coverage of this topic in traditional news sources, as they are written by professional journalists that we try to support, not replace. We appreciate your understanding and assistance.

Related Articles

Budapest Post
America's Got Talent…
Nvidia Joins Tech Giants as First Chipmaker to Reach $1 Trillion Valuation
Drone Attack on Moscow's Wealthiest Neighborhoods Suspected to be Launched by Ukraine
Elon Musk Meets Chinese Finance Minister in Beijing
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Hold Power Talks with President Biden in Washington
AI ‘extinction’ should be same priority as nuclear war – experts
Prominent Hacker Forum RaidForums Suffers Substantial Data Breach
Climate cultists thought they had sabotaged another beautiful event — then the cameraman had his revenge.
Nvidia CEO Huang says firms, individuals without AI expertise will be left behind
WPP Revolutionizes Advertising with NVIDIA's AI Powerhouse
Two US Employees Fired For Chasing Robbers Out Of Store As They Broke ''Company Policy''
Pfizer, the EU, and disappearing ink - Smoke, Mirrors, and the Billion-Dose Pfizer Vaccine Deal: EU's 'Open Secret
Actor Tom Hanks told Harvard University graduates to be superheroes in their defense of truth and American ideals, and to resist those who twist the truth for their own gain
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
France Arrests 10 on Suspicion of Failing to Respond in Time to Migrant Drowning
Neuralink Receives FDA Approval for First-in-Human Clinical Study
Is Saudi Arabia the holiest place in the world? Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions from "The Mount Sinai Stand" Discovered in Saudi Arabia
Ukrainian Intelligence Official Admits to Assassination Attempts on Putin
WATCH THIS: democracy in Russia is so bad!
Ed Davey: It is possible for a woman to have a penis
Bernard Arnault Loses $11.2 Billion in One Day as Investors Fear Slowdown in US Growth Will Reduce Demand for Luxury Products
Russian’s Wagner Group leader: “I am not a chef, I am a butcher. Russia is in danger of a revolution like in 1917.”
TikTok Sues Montana Over Law Banning the App
Ron DeSantis Jumps Into 2024 Presidential Race, Setting Up Showdown With Trump
Steve Jobs introducing Apple's iPhone, exactly 16 years ago.
China overtakes Japan as world's top car exporter
Elon Musk's SpaceX and Italy's Unipol join forces to help Italians hit by flooding
Talks between US House Republicans and President Biden's Democratic administration on raising the federal government's $31.4tn debt ceiling have paused
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad received a warm welcome at an Arab summit in Jeddah
Biden Administration Eyeing High-Profile Visits to China: The Biden Administration is heating things up by looking into setting up a series of top-level visits to Beijing by top officials in the coming months
New evidence in special counsel probe may undercut Trump’s claim documents he took were automatically declassified
A French court of appeals confirmed former President Nicolas Sarkozy's three-year jail term for corruption and influence peddling
Debt Ceiling Crises Have Unleashed Political Chaos
Weibao Wang, a former software engineer at Apple, was charged with stealing trade secrets related to autonomous systems, including self-driving cars
Mobile phone giant Vodafone to cut 11,000 jobs globally over three years as new boss says its performance not good enough
Elon Musk compares George Soros to Magneto, the supervillain from the Marvel Comics series.
Warren Buffett Sells TSMC Shares Over Concerns About Taiwan's Stability
New Study Finds That Secondary Bacterial Pneumonia Is a Major Cause of Death in COVID-19 Patients Who Require Ventilator Assistance
Vienna: Passenger Plays Hitler Speeches on Train, Causes Panic
The official tapes of Trump's deposition in the E. Jean Carroll battery (rape) and defamation case have been released.
King Charles III being crowned.
Newly released video of Donald Trump’s rape trial deposition:
Video: Ukraine MP Punches Russian Representative At Global Meet
El Paso mayor has declared a state of emergency
Russia accused Ukraine of attacking the Kremlin with drones in an attempt to kill Putin
Ahead of King Charles’ coronation, British guards rehearse in the middle of the night in London
Dutch court orders man who fathered 550 kids to stop donating sperm
Kim Kardashian Lookalike Christina Ashten Dies Of Cardiac Arrest, Hours After Plastic Surgery
Samsung has banned employees from using generative AI services such as ChatGPT
'Godfather Of AI' Geoffrey Hinton Quits Google To Warn Of The Tech's Dangers