Duvar English

A total of 4,600 buildings will be demolished in Elazığ, the southeastern city that was struck by the 6.8-magnitude quake of Jan.24, Environment and Urban Planning Minister Murat Kurum said.

“The total number of severely damaged and collapsed buildings in Elazığ is 4,600. In all of Elazığ, 4,600 buildings will be torn down,” Kurum said.

Kurum noted that 85 percent of the damage assessment on a reported 40,000 buildings in Elazığ was complete and that the ministry used drone footage and terrestrial laser scanners in the process.

The assessments revealed that 150 buildings collapsed, 4,552 were severely damaged and that 1,779 were moderately damaged.

The ministry has already demolished 107 buildings that were severely damaged.

Residence contracts and urban transformation

Kurum said that while the demolition work in one neighbor was complete, there was urban transformation work going on in another.

“We are working swiftly on urban transformation work in Abdullah Paşa and Mustafa Paşa neighborhoods that we think is crucial for the city,” Kurum said.

There are 2,000 available residences in Abdullah Paşa neighborhood, Kurum noted, adding that there will be more construction in the area.

“We will inform citizens in [Abdullah Paşa] this evening. We want to quickly complete this work and start construction on permanent residences,” Kurum said.

Meanwhile in the Mustafa Paşa neighborhood, there have been deaths due to buildings collapsing, Kurum said, adding that another 100 will be demolished.

“We will complete the demolition and hopefully start construction on the designated sites by end of February or beginning of March.

The ministry has reportedly initiated a 10,000-residence project in Yemişlik, Zafran and Çatalçeşme in Elazığ.

Construction has been a steady source to feed into the GDP under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Between 2013 and 2018, there have been a total of 8 million homes sold in Turkey; meanwhile, 34.2 million residences remain in stock nationally, according to the Presidency Investment Office.

Credit: Presidency of the Republic of Turkey Investment Office

15 thousand units of public housing and counting

The ministry is pondering increasing the number of public housing units to be built in the quake-struck area, Kurum said.

While the initial number of units were 1,400 Kurum said the ministry had reserved 15,000 separate areas.

“As of right now we have determined almost 15,000 separate lots as reserves and urban transformation areas and public housing, we have initiated them,” Kurum said.

Kurum noted that the numbers he shared about prospective construction projects were not final.

“However much is needed, we will increase reserve areas as much as needed.”