Quakes push rent prices further as victims search for resilient buildings, move to other cities

Exorbitant rent increases have been observed in southern Turkish cities that started to take immigration from the nearby earthquake-stricken provinces as thousands of people have been left homeless.

Men walk past a collapsed building in the aftermath last week's deadly earthquakes in Adıyaman.

Duvar English

In the face of major destruction in Turkey’s 10 provinces due to last week’s earthquakes, immigration started to pour into nearby provinces, prompting landlords to spike the rents.

In the southern Mersin province, rents have increased up to 20,000 Turkish liras in the city center, with some landlords demanding even one-year worth of rent in advance, according to reporting by Demirören news agency.

Mersin Real Estate Agents Chamber president Mehmet Sinan Canpolat said that they started to receive many complaints due to recent exorbitant rent price hikes.

“This is right one of our bleeding wounds. We have received hundreds of complaints in the last 2-3 days. We are a nation that bandages up its wounds in unity. But after the earthquakes, we have seen that instead of lowering the rents, the landlords have started to increase rents from 3,000 liras to 5,000 liras, from 5,000 liras to 10,000 liras, in pursuit of rent-seeking,” Canpolat said.

“Landlords, please show empathy and be conscientious. These people have come from the earthquake places, from under the rubble. Are we going to kill the people who have not died there here with high rents?” he asked, urging earthquake victims to file complaints with the authorities if they are asked for exorbitant rents.

Rent prices have also started to see a considerable rise in Diyarbakır, one of the 10 provinces affected by the earthquakes. Diyarbakır residents who have seen their buildings severely damaged have started to look for houses in other parts of the city. The districts of Bağlar, Şehitlik, Yeniyol, Huzurevleri and Peyas are some of the districts that have seen the demolishment of structures.   

Rents have increased from 3,000 liras to 7,500 liras for two-room flats, from 3,000 liras to 8,000 liras for three-room flats, from 5,000 liras to 10,000 liras for four-room flats, and from 6,000 liras to 12,000 liras for five-room flats in districts that managed to survive the earthquakes, according to reporting by Amida Haber.

Diyarbakır Real Estate Agents Chamber president Mustafa Koç said that they were similarly receiving complaints about the exorbitant rent spikes, deeming landlords’ behaviors “completely corrupt.”

Koç urged citizens to file a complaint with the Trade Ministry should they come across such rent increases, saying they would expel any real estate agents involved in such incidents. “Our demand is that our real agents do not receive any commission or receive at the lowest limit from earthquake victims. We can overcome these difficult days only with solidarity,” he said.

Turkey’s 10 southern provinces (Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Gaziantep, Osmaniye, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakır, Şanlıurfa, Adıyaman and Kilis) have been severely damaged following two major earthquakes in the region on Feb. 6, one at a magnitude of 7.7 and the other 7.6.