President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has held an important meeting with scientists, academics, construction experts and city planners to discuss the making of a comprehensive “national risk shield” to protect the people from natural disasters, terrorism, pandemics and other sorts of crises.
The move came in the aftermath of two devastating earthquakes on Feb. 6 that killed more than 45,000 people in 11 provinces in the Southeastern Anatolian Region.
“The objective of this meeting is to create an intellectual ground for building a national risk shield perspective. We will evaluate all the natural disasters, dangers and threats Türkiye faces in a holistic approach. The earthquake disaster is one of them but it covers forest fires, floods, drought and others as well,” Erdoğan said at the opening of the meeting, dubbed the Türkiye National Risk Shield meeting, on March 3 in Istanbul.
Along with relevant government officials and state institutions, and a number of local and foreign experts, scientists also attended the meeting. Each participant has been given time to make a presentation during the meeting. The coordination of making this risk shield will be carried out by Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Minister Murat Kurum.
“We should add pandemic, terror threats and migrants inflows to it. In addition, we should also look into terror threats, wars and social chaos stemming from our geopolitical location,” Erdoğan stated.
The president stressed that this effort should be seen as bipartisan as it aims to secure the future of the country and its people.
“We are passing through a difficult period. We have big losses and heavy disruption in our 11 provinces,” Erdoğan recalled, stressing as a result of earthquakes more than 3.5 million people have migrated from the earthquake-hit region to other cities.
The government is now in the process to provide permanent shelters for the victims and the construction of safe and low-rise buildings will be accelerated in the coming period, Erdoğan stated.
“The new residential places will be decided following consultations with scientists, architectures, city planners, engineers and locals,” he reiterated.
Erdoğan has already promised to accomplish the new residential areas and houses for the earthquake victims in one year’s time. Construction has begun in some provinces but more will come following the study of soil in all these provinces. Erdoğan said the new residences will be erected in places with strong ground and on the mountains instead of the plains.
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