Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that repeated talks of a potential destructive earthquake in Istanbul are spreading fear among the city’s residents.
Erdogan spoke during his interview with several Turkish TV channels Wednesday evening about the challenges that faced the government in convincing Istanbul residents living in houses built before the Marmara destructive earthquake in 1999 to demolish and reconstruct their houses.
Despite the challenges, the authority succeeded in changing the face of urbanism in many regions, and people started to apply for the demolition and reconstruction of their houses in other areas, added Erdogan.
Persisting talks about an expected destructive quake in Istanbul spread fear among citizens, with some starting to move from the city to other areas, said the President.
He added that up to 27,949 houses are under construction in several states - such as Adiyaman, Kahraman, Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep, Hatay, and Malatya - damaged by the Feb. 6 quakes. Construction of some rural houses is almost completed, and they would be handed out to their owners by summer.
Erdogan mentioned that the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change is carrying out the debris removal works, and the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority is installing tents and establishing field hospitals.
“The scope of the destruction is unprecedented,” UNDP Türkiye Resident Representative Louisa Vinton told Anadolu Agency.
“This is why we expect equally unprecedented commitments from global donors.”
“Reconstruction is not just about bricks and mortar but also lives and livelihoods. People need secure employment to ensure a steady income, they need public services such as health care and education, and they need to be able to shop, relax and socialize with other people,” said Vinton.
“In short, they need to get back to normal life as soon as possible.”
The UNDP has proposed 31 projects that will contribute to the sustainable recovery of Türkiye's quake-hit southern region, she added.
The UNDP's 12 projects include ensuring sustainable management of debris, restoring waste management and water treatment plants, restoring cultural heritage, rehabilitation and restoration of natural assets and livelihoods, and building back better with near-zero emission structures.
The rest of the projects focus on supporting livelihoods and socio-economic recovery, leaving no one behind through targeted support to vulnerable groups, rehabilitating infrastructure, reintegrating the displaced workers into business, accelerating activity in the damaged areas, and boosting the economy.
The proposed projects also focus on strengthening legal protection and social support for persons with disabilities, increasing the psychological and social resilience of quake survivors and affected communities, and improving community resilience.
The organization is seeking $550 million in funding to implement the projects.