Turkey starts building houses in the earthquake zones…and criticism for “haste”

Istanbul, Turkey (CNN) — The Turkish government has begun building new homes for people who lost their homes during the devastating February 6 earthquake, according to Turkey’s Minister of Environment, Urban Development and Climate Change, Murat Kurum.

“We have started excavation work to build 855 houses in Nordağı and repair,” Corum wrote on his Twitter account, adding that their efforts aim to build homes for those affected “as quickly as possible.”

Nordagi and Islah are two districts in Gaziantep province that were severely damaged by the February 6 earthquake.

On the other hand, the Federation of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) criticized the haste in the decision to build houses. Emin Koramaz, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Chambers of Engineers and Architects, wrote in his column in the independent newspaper BirGün, that “every project that will be carried out without carrying out new geological examinations, updating ground surveys, and preparing city plans for earthquake resistance means transferring the current earthquake risks to the future and endangering the lives of people at risk.”

Some social media users also criticized the hasty construction efforts, arguing that the ongoing aftershocks in the area will damage the foundations of new buildings.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who faces elections within months, promised to build new homes for people affected by the earthquake, which he said would be completed within a year.

Turkey’s general elections are scheduled for June 18, but President Erdogan has indicated that elections may be held as early as May 14, 2023.

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