Istanbul Governor's Office evacuates not earthquake resistant school buildings

Istanbul Governor's Office has announced that the evacuation of 93 not earthquake resistant school buildings in the metropolis started, a decision affecting 51,995 students and 2,765 teachers in "risky" schools.

Duvar English

Istanbul Governor's Office on Feb. 18 announced that 51,995 students and 2,765 teachers in 93 not earthquake resistant school buildings will be transferred to earthquake-resistant schools.

After 93 schools in Istanbul were found to be not earthquake resistant, the evacuation of students studying in these buildings began as the new semester started on Feb. 20 amid two weeks of delay due to major earthquakes that hit southeastern Turkey on Feb. 6.

As a result of the surveys of the 93 risky schools, it has been decided to demolish and reconstruct 76 schools and reinforce 17 schools, according to the announcement.

Nonetheless, some of the students, parents, and employees are not content with the lack of coordination especially because the decision came two days before the new semester. 

Küçükçekmece Kanarya Secondary School was one of them and 1,700 students were transferred to other schools. One parent, Cemal Danışman, said, "There was a very dense crowd in the morning, parents and students were intertwined, students had to be taken to one side and parents had to be taken to another side.”

He added that it would have been better if there were better transportation opportunities because the new school that their children attend is far away.

On the other hand, students and parents from the 75. Yıl Primary School in Sultangazi district were not aware the eviction decision and learnt it by coming to school on Feb. 20.

Ali Baki, who stated that he has been running a canteen at the school, said, "I am now in a victimized situation with my three employees. I demand from the authorities to find a solution for me."

He added that all of his employees’ lives have been turned upside down with the closure of the school all of a sudden, “I got the news on Feb. 17 even though I made the preparations for the new semester.”

Amid warnings that a major earthquake is expected to hit Istanbul in the near future, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said there are 90,000 buildings that have a risk of entirely collapsing in the megacity on Feb 15.