Duvar English

Almost half of residential buildings in Istanbul don’t have earthquake insurance, Earthquake Fortification Association (DEGÜDER) Chair Sinan Türkkan said.

Türkkan said that the government mandated residential insurance against natural disasters following the Marmara quake of 1999, which about half of residential structures complied with.

“But the other half still lack insurance. That’s really saddening,” Türkkan added.

According to data from the Natural Disasters Insurance Institution (DASK), only 31 percent of Istanbul residences built before the year 2000 have insurance.

“In other words, more than two thirds of the city’s buildings that are older than 20 years aren’t insured against earthquakes or the destruction they bring,” Türkkan said.

Considering the constant threat of earthquake in Istanbul and the old age of the structures, Türkkan noted the lack of widespread insurance was critical as only five percent of older buildings requested reinforcements.

The chairman added that some 3.5 million Istanbul residents live in buildings constructed before 1980.