The Reality Of Earthquakes And The Future Of Turkey – OpEd


Turkey is located in a geographic region that has historically faced numerous natural disasters, with earthquakes being a prominent concern. This article focuses on the reality of earthquakes, particularly in Turkey. Our country is situated in an area prone to frequent earthquakes, and recent seismic events serve as a stark reminder of this reality. The earthquakes that occurred in February 2023 have brought this issue to the forefront once again.

Turkey is located within an earthquake-prone zone, making earthquakes an inevitable fact of life. However, many of us tend to forget about earthquakes when they are not occurring or only focus on the immediate aftermath of seismic events. It’s important to recognize that earthquakes are a continuous and persistent natural threat. The earthquakes in February were not the first of their kind, and we are now witnessing their devastating consequences. This does not imply that earthquakes were absent in the past; the reality is that Turkey is indeed an earthquake-prone country.

The key is to confront the reality of earthquakes and take precautionary measures to mitigate their impact. While rebuilding structures and addressing the immediate needs of the affected population after an earthquake is essential, the primary focus should be on making our cities earthquake-resistant before a seismic event occurs. This involves reinforcing buildings, improving infrastructure, and ensuring preparedness for earthquakes on a significant scale.

In this regard, the responsibility does not solely rest with the government and local authorities; society as a whole plays a significant role. The resilient and determined Turkish population should demand more proactive measures from politicians and authorities regarding earthquake preparedness. This includes stricter oversight of the construction sector, constructing earthquake-resistant buildings, and reinforcing public structures. However, these measures need to be implemented before the next earthquake strikes. Failing to take precautions in advance will leave us with very limited options when an earthquake does occur.

Confronting the reality of earthquakes and implementing preventative measures is of utmost importance for Turkey’s future. While rebuilding after an earthquake is a necessary step, the primary emphasis should be on making our cities earthquake-resistant to minimize the impact of such disasters. This responsibility lies not only with policymakers but also with society at large. By working together, we can address the reality of earthquakes and be better prepared. Remember, earthquakes are inevitable; preparedness is within our control.

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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