Ambitious measures taken for Istanbul's urban transformation: Özhaseki

The Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Minister Mehmet Özhaseki has revealed a comprehensive four-step road map for the urban transformation of Istanbul, emphasizing the urgency of preparing the city for potential disasters, particularly earthquakes.

Ambitious measures taken for Istanbul's urban transformation Özhaseki
Governmental System Discussions Ahead of the 2023 Elections Why the

Governmental System Discussions Ahead of the 2023 Elections: Why the Nation Alliance’s Proposal for Semi-Presidentialism is not a Viable Option

This article analyzes the approaches of the two major electoral alliances set to compete in the upcoming elections, instead of focusing on each political party’s proposed system of government separately.


On top of the long-term impact of climate change, the coronavirus pandemic started in 2020 and continued for approximately two years. Subsequently, the Russia-Ukraine war took a toll on agriculture and food supply security. Just as those negative repercussions were weakening, Türkiye experienced massive earthquakes – one of the worst disasters in world history – in winter conditions. The country was compelled to raise a Level 4 alarm to heal the wounds and request international assistance.

We will implement all principles of modern urbanization in resilient, smart, and climate-friendly cities. The survivors have lost their relatives and loved ones. They suffer a great deal and we suffer with them. We will heal their wounds. We will build new homes for them as quickly as possible to alleviate their pain to some extent.

In the wake of the great disaster that Türkiye has experienced, we are trying to heal each other’s wounds, mitigate each other’s suffering and rush to each other’s aid as a nation. We are compelled to highlight the economic impact of what happened in the devastation’s immediate aftermath while our memories and pain are still fresh. It is necessary to state and acknowledge that any attempt to restore and improve the “living standards” of Turkish citizens must rest on this assessment within the framework of the basic idea that the economy is supposed to serve the people. Universally speaking, economics is the science of allocating scarce resources optimally and we need its accumulated experience and principles more than ever amid crises.

Natural disasters, wars, and economic collapse tend to seriously undermine social order and make it impossible to address even people’s most basic needs. During such periods, it becomes difficult for communities to feed themselves, find shelter, receive medical attention, relocate, and communicate with others. Individuals and communities have provided emergency assistance to such individuals, without expecting anything in return, to address basic needs like food, shelter, and medical treatment throughout history.

TOKİ and Post-Earthquake Rebuilding

Türkiye just experienced massive earthquakes in February. We must never forget this catastrophe – which has been described as the “disaster of the century.” We have all witnessed how devastating the earthquake was. May Allah protect our country from such disasters in the future. The Housing Development Administration (TOKİ) mobilized in the disaster’s immediate aftermath and, under the leadership of our esteemed minister, started operating in the quake zone.

TOKİ and Post-Earthquake Rebuilding
Geography Is Destiny but It Shouldn't Be Sorrow

Geography Is Destiny, but It Shouldn't Be Sorrow!

Türkiye must teach everyone everywhere – whether they go to kindergarten or college or are part of professional networks in office buildings or factories – about “uninterrupted earthquake awareness” and treat earthquakes as a “question of national security.” Unfortunately, our country has periodically suffered from local relationships that undermined the political process with their “influence” and “pressure.”


There is no doubt that the Turkish Red Crescent remains a prioritized civilian entity due to its historical origins, institutional past, and capacity, but it cannot represent the entire civilian domain by itself in this day and age. As such, a mechanism for disaster management should be put in place that ensures the readiness of all official and civilian resources and the effective use of those resources for a rapid response.

the Kahramanmaraş earthquakes will be at the top of Türkiye’s political agenda ahead of the 2023 elections. On the campaign trail, voters will closely monitor each party’s vision for relief efforts, comparing the government’s proven crisis management skills with the opposition’s potential performance. Right now, the electorate can make that comparison.

It is necessary to uphold the sense of solidarity, which emerged among states after the earthquakes. Last but not least, one would hope that the humane way of thinking can triumph over the idea of interest and exploitation in international relations. This is a time to focus on moral values and solidarity – not realpolitik.

In the wake of the most recent earthquakes, it was important for government agencies to launch search and rescue efforts without delay. As expected, Cabinet ministers personally oversaw relief efforts in earthquake-stricken provinces. It was also important for politicians to express solidarity at that difficult time. After all, the effectiveness of government agencies in crisis management is an achievement for which the entire country would take credit.

NGO volunteers work on the ground around the clock. In the recent past during the coronavirus pandemic, they delivered aid to people alongside government agencies. In the holy month of Ramadan, they serve meals. Every year, around Eid Al-Adha, volunteers work extra hard to help people around the globe by building bridges between donors and people in need. As such, they represent Türkiye through their excellent work.

In particular, earthquake-resilient housing retrofitting or reconstruction needs massive additional funding schemes, as public or individual funding mechanisms could never be sufficient. In addition, millions of private properties or residential buildings built before 2000 require urgent strengthening or rebuilding.

Many nations from all over the world have pledged aid to Turkey, and some have already sent search and rescue teams.

The earthquake in Turkey has once again shown how social support networks can play a critical role in helping victims.

Turkish authorities have pledged to provide support and resources to ensure that the damaged cultural sites are fully restored and preserved for future generations.

Türkiye's upcoming election result will have seismic repercussions for the political careers of politicians on all sides of the political spectrum.

Rural development efforts are urgently needed for better food security.

The latest earthquake is the most devastating one that Turkey has experienced since the 1990s.

Southern Türkiye was jolted by twin earthquakes on February 6 that caused unprecedented devastation across an extremely vast area, impacting 11 provinces. Almost on par with the scale of the devastation, Türkiye has also received a huge amount of humanitarian aid from many countries with which Türkiye both has cordial and strained relations. In light of the considerable level of solidarity showcased by many countries, it is still unclear whether this atmosphere of solidarity and amicability will translate into tangible outcomes in the respective bilateral relations between Türkiye and these nations. Likewise, it is also unclear whether the solidarity displayed by countries with which Türkiye had tense relations until the earthquakes will cause a thaw in bilateral ties and lead to a new chapter in relations. We asked foreign policy experts to weigh in on these questions.