Turkey’s lax policing of building codes
February 15, 2023 - President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is facing a backlash for overseeing a 2018 amnesty for faults in millions of buildings across Turkey. Within 18 months, Erdoğan’s government approved 7.4 million applications, granting legal status to buildings that had breached building codes and safety rules.
Damages from the devastating earthquakes in Turkey last week will probably exceed $20 billion, Verisk Extreme Event Solutions estimated on Tuesday (February 14, 2023).
Verisk based its estimates on the damage caused by the seven-magnitude earthquakes that occurred on February 6. Verisk says insurance covers only a fraction of the devastation -- likely more than $1 billion.
The figures come on top of the enormous loss of life from the disaster, with the death toll rising to more than 41,000 by Wednesday. As the earthquake death toll climbs, criticism of Turkey’s government response soars.
A 2019 video shows Erdoğan hailing amnesties for housing projects that have crumbled, killing thousands of people.
Structures compliant with building codes “have performed relatively well, while many others have experienced significant damage and collapse during earthquakes,” Verisk said.