A critical review of new disaster management system in Turkey

Burcak Basbug Erkan, Bulent Ozmen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The first need for disaster legistation in Turkey occurred after the strike of 27/December/1939 Erzincan Earthquake of magnitude 8. 0. This earthquake affected a very large area causing 33.000 life losses, 100.000 injuries and damage to 120.000 buildings. Afterwards, there occurred several earthquakes in Niksar Er baa (M· 7. 0) on 20/December/1942, Adapazari - Hendek (M·6.6) on 20/June/1943, Tosya -Ladik (M·7.2) on 26/November/1943 and Bolu
- Gerede (M·7.2) on 01/February/1944. As a result of this series of earthquake experience, in 1944, Law No. 4623 'The Precautions to Be Taken before and after an Earthquake'was passed by the Turkish National Assembly. This law is the first of its kind to explain how to organise local/central administration to mitigate possible earthquake losses and determine earthquake hazard and risk. It is also the first law to include how to control I to enforce proper construction. The disaster mitigation studies initiated by the enforcement of this law. There were earthquakes, floods and avalanches in the following years. A revision of Law No. 4623 was necessary. Therefore, in 1958 Law No. 7126 'Civil Defense Law' and in 1959 Law No. 7269 'Disaster Law' were announced. The Disaster Law has been revised in 1968 according to needs of that time period and still is in use in Turkey.

17 August 1999 Izmit and 12 November 1999 Duzce Earthquakes caused 18.242 life losses, 48.901 injuries and collapse of 93.145 buildings. These high damage figures showed once again that the Turkish Disaster Management System did not work efficiently. The debates on the system are flamed following the 1999 earthquakes. It has been accepted that the institutions, who are responsible from disaster management activities, did not work in cooperation and coordination as effective as they should be. One s.olution to these obstacles is the announcement of Law No. 5902. 'The Law on the Duties of the Disaster and Emergency J1anagement Authority'. It was officially in use after being published in the Official Gazette No. 27162 on 17/06/2009. The Law consists of mitigation plans and preparedness activities before natural event occurrences, response actions during the event and coordination activities between the institutions after occurrence of an event. The aim of this study is to discuss pors and cons of this new institution.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Event65th Geological Congress of Turkey - METU Cultural and Convention Center, Ankara, Turkey
Duration: 2 Apr 20126 Apr 2012


Conference65th Geological Congress of Turkey


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