Turkey issues earthquake ‘rebuilding’ rules after millions left homeless

Turkey has published earthquake rebuilding guidelines after a severe earthquake that left millions homeless.

In order to facilitate businesses or charitable organisations helping with the urgent task of building new homes for the millions of people in need of shelter after the terrible tremors, Turkey released rebuilding legislation on Friday for an area hit by earthquakes this month.

In Turkey, the earthquakes caused more than 160,000 buildings, comprising 520,000 apartments, to collapse or suffer significant damage.

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More than 43,500 people have died as a result of the tremors in Turkey, but over 6,000 people have died in neighbouring Syria, a country already devastated by war.

President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has promised to reconstruct homes within a year, despite the fact that experts have advised authorities to prioritise safety over expediency. The most recent earthquakes caused some buildings that were designed to withstand shocks to collapse.

Many survivors have either left the affected area in southern Turkey or have moved into tent cities, shipping container residences, or other forms of government-sponsored housing.

A presidential decree published in the Official Gazette states that under the new rules, individuals, institutions, and organisations would be permitted to construct homes and businesses that they can gift to the ministry of urbanisation for distribution to people in need.

Bekir Bozdag, the justice minister, told CNNTurk that as part of an inquiry into collapsed structures in the earthquake area, relating to violations of building standards, 171 people had been arrested and 77 more risked custody.

“Everyone involved will be held accountable in front of courts. Everyone will be punished according to their responsibility,” Bozdag stated.

He suggested that the law may need to be changed to address crimes involving building licences and suggested that the government consider stiffer penalties and deterrents for breaking zoning regulations, which specify where and how buildings can be built more safely.

In Antakya, Saeed Sleiman Ertoglu, 56, picked up the merchandise from his waterpipe shop that had survived the two significant earthquakes that struck on February 6 and the subsequent major quake two weeks later.

The glassware was very beautiful, more than usual, but then we had this (earthquake), and it all got ruined,” he stated this after his shop and residence withstood the initial tremors but not the subsequent one. He thought that 5% of his goods had survived.

“What can we do? This is an act of God, and God’s will always bears gifts,” he stated.