by the Turkish Court of Accounts
14. Despite timing of possible Istanbul earthquake is not known precisely,
possibility of its occurrence within 30 years is estimated to be %65.
It is expected that possible earthquake would cause severe damage in
Istanbul. The reason for this assumption is that the number of building in
Istanbul is high, a part of which are unlicensed and illegal and those with
licenses are constructed without performing their ground studies. Adding to
these, building inspections and controls are not effective enough.
• In plans prepared by some service groups, it was not considered that
assigned personnel themselves might be earthquake victim and their
substitutes were not designated. (P. 2.32)
• Plans are not prepared with an approach that puts forward the concepts
of risk and priority. Risks and priorities are not taken into consideration
in the planning. (P. 2.32)
• Persons who have a role in the plan do not have necessary training
enabling them to do their share of task. For instance, the knowledge of
personnel trained for search and rescue, is below international standards
of this field, and quality as well as the duration of training is
dramatically insufficient. (P. 2.33)
• Although the inventory of equipments to be used for rescue services is
kept, there is no system that monitors and updates the movement and
last status of these equipments. (P. 2.33)
• At certain locations found inappropriate for settlement after ground
survey, there are buildings that were constructed beforehand. There is
no plan or project related to these buildings.
• Municipalities charged with conducting building development plans do
not have adequate facilities, equipments and personnel to fulfill this
duty in an effective manner. (P. 3.12, 3.13)
• Provisions of legislations related to prevention of buildings constructed
without license or against its license cannot be enforced decently.
• There are no prevocational and in-service training safeguarding the
professional competence of personnel working at construction sites. (P.
5. Two thirds of Istanbul’s current housing stock is comprised of buildings
with no building permit or certificate of occupancy.
Additionally, in case of a possible earthquake;
• Multiple under and over passes as well as viaducts would be damaged;
• E-5 and TEM highways would be blocked;
• Damages to natural gas network would lead to big explosions and fires
unless the pressure was reduced via an “Early Warning” system;
Ambarlı Thermal Power Plant would be severely damaged, and become
nonfunctional, which would lead to longtime electricity cut in Istanbul
according to assumptions in case of a scenario earthquake.
1.2 There are approximately 1 200 000 privately-owned and over 10 000
public building in Istanbul where more than half of current housing stock is
either unlicensed or contrary to their licenses, and there is no possibility of
deriving sound statistical information as most of the buildings are not
3.2 Experts list main factors transforming an earthquake into a deadly
disaster as follows:
• Unplanned housing,
plans contradictory to
science together with
wrong selection of
• Illegal, unlicensed
• Licensed but
• Lack of legal sanctions
in preventing these