‘We can stay under this rubble at any moment’

An earthquake measuring 5.9 was recorded in the Gölyaka district of Düzce. After the earthquake felt in many cities, İBB subsidiary KİPTAŞ General Manager Ali Kurt made a call regarding the expected Istanbul earthquake.

After the “KIPTAŞ Mihmandar” groundbreaking ceremony held yesterday in Nevşehir Hacıbektaş Çağatan Akyol from ANKA News AgencySpeaking to .

Calling public institutions to work together, Kurt said:

THE PUBLIC SHOULD ALSO BE A STAKEHOLDER IN THIS PROCESS: We initiated an important transformation step in Istanbul, saying ‘Istanbul is Renewing’. We started a serious movement. We have implemented a platform. What are we doing? We have implemented a system that can transform our people from risky structures to cost, and so far, approximately 160 risky structures have applied to us. 580 thousand of our people live. We have always made the following call to the public; ‘Come, let’s do this together’. Because the metropolitan municipality or KIPTAS cannot handle this job alone. Both the public and the public authority should be a stakeholder in this process, and even embrace it. We are making our calls regarding this and we will continue to do so. What is our call? Just as the public can host our citizens with an appropriate payment plan in ‘social housing’ campaigns; Likewise, we demand that these campaigns be carried out to our citizens living in risky structures in order to dissolve the risky building stock, especially in big cities. We survived the earthquake in Düzce very, very cheaply. It was at 04:00; at night when everyone is at home. God forbid, if we had experienced the expected great earthquake in Istanbul, we might be talking about very different things right now. We are in Hacibektas right now, but maybe we wouldn’t be able to come.

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OUR LARGE CITIES HAVE HIGH RISK BUILDING STOCK: I woke up at night on the 12th floor as a result of my house shaking like a cradle. So, God forbid, if we had experienced the expected big Istanbul earthquake; we are technical people who are aware that this can happen at any moment, and frankly, we never forget the earthquake. We also try not to forget. We are trying to raise awareness about this. We will do whatever needs to be done, as loudly as we can make our voices heard. Because there is an extremely risky building stock in our big cities. Here, too, it is not possible to overcome this alone.

WE CANNOT PREPARE THESE CITIES FOR EARTHQUAKE WITH INDIVIDUAL WORKS: The ministry is doing a great job. Metropolitan municipalities, local municipalities, district municipalities, many of them are doing very good works, but we cannot prepare these cities for earthquakes with these individual works. We need to be united. That’s why we say let’s renew together. The public authority should especially be the collector, owner and organizer of this work. This is why we want to raise our voice. In Istanbul, we have a very, very serious inventory in our hands with the ‘Istanbul Renewing’ project. This is the citizen’s statement, that is, the citizen says, ‘I am sitting at risk. I also accept borrowing. Come, transform me’. What we need to do is to offer these citizens a financing option on affordable, affordable terms. Other than that, there’s nothing we can do. Regarding this, the state should definitely get involved in this work and be a stakeholder in this process. That’s why we say, come, let’s renew together.

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75 PERCENT OF ISTANBUL’S BUILDING STOCK WAS BUILT BEFORE 2000: We could face a very big disaster. We should not only remember the earthquake the moment it happened. We must always remember. We must instill this awareness in everyone from 7 to 70. We should vaccinate everyone, but the public authority really needs to get us together and own this business, not with rhetoric. We are ready to be a stakeholder in this process regarding our own talents, experience and capabilities. The public also has positive works in my opinion, but it is individual, we also have it, it is also individual. Unless they come together, we will not be able to prepare these cities for earthquakes as quickly as we want. 23 years have passed since the 99 earthquake. 23 years and still 75 percent of Istanbul’s building stock was built before 2000. So these are potentially risky structures. How much of this have we been able to renew in 23 years? If we do not come together, all actors, the private sector, the supply chain, the public, but the collector of this must be the public.

WE RECOMMENDED THE MINISTRY TO ESTABLISH AN EARTHQUAKE COUNCIL: Together with our esteemed metropolitan mayor, we proposed the following to the esteemed Minister of Environment and Urbanization. We said, ‘Let an earthquake council be established’. It would not be called ‘council’, it would be something else. What is above these institutions is independent. In other words, we need to put into practice a mechanism through which decisions to be taken regarding extraordinary situations are passed. We have the data now. 160 thousand buildings say, ‘come, renew us’. All we have to offer them is the appropriate payment plan. These citizens also accept borrowing. Let’s say we compromise, let’s say we borrowed. How do we rent? All of these need to be considered holistically. In other words, we cannot raise this business by transforming a neighborhood or a street. It’s obvious how far we’ve come in 23 years. Nothing has been done, of course he does. Of course it was done, but only when the earthquake happens, unfortunately, our citizens and the public, including us, wake up more. We, as KİPTAŞ company, obviously, because our president Ekrem İmamoğlu has given us a serious responsibility with the risky structure and renewal of Istanbul. We sleep with it and wake up with it. We are very concerned about this issue and we want our voices to be heard. If we don’t all sit at the same table, we could be buried under the rubble at any moment.”

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