March 23, 2023

Mayor Şenkul discussed the Turkey earthquake and impact on Girne

Girne Mayor Murat Şenkul informed the City Council and gave information about the migration of people from Turkey to Girne after the recent earthquake disaster and the road maps for controls to be followed and the control of the suspect buildings in the Girne region.

Şenkul underlined that, within the framework of the contacts with the authorities, they got the impression that the Republic of Turkey does not favor a permanent mass migration in the country. Şenkul also stated that a significant number of people became homeless in earthquake zones and that some of this population migrated to our country and various regions of Turkey temporarily, and pointed out that the Turkish Central Government does not want to lose population in the affected region and that it is very difficult to restore the population lost after a certain period of time.

In this context, Şenkul stated that they were informed that the Turkish Central Government would organize aid to the earthquake victims by placing the precondition of “not leaving their own province”.

Noting that there are approximately 6 thousand people living in the earthquake-affected areas of Turkey some with relatives in Girne, Şenkul stated, that temporary migration is inevitable and that it is vital to be ready as the Municipality of Girne in this process with preparation, and that every effort will be made to provide all necessary support. In this context, Şenkul stated that a meeting was held on behalf of the Girne Municipality Social Affairs Branch and Girne Regional Representatives to work in a coordinated way and stated that the aid plan formed will continue in an organized manner.

Şenkul explained that there are volunteer teachers needed in order to provide help to earthquake survivors aged between 4 and 18, and emphasized that efforts are underway to ensure that children use their time correctly. Noting that a separate structure has been established for psychological assistance to families affected by the earthquake, Şenkul stated that there are centers ready to provide support in this regard.

Şenkul stated that Girne is at the bottom of the earthquake risk map of Cyprus and drew attention to the fact that the region does not have a great risk. However, underlining the necessity of accepting the fact that the region cannot live as though there will never be an earthquake, Şenkul emphasized that it is always necessary to be prepared for earthquakes but without creating panic in the communities

Şenkul also stated that as the Municipality of Girne important steps will be taken in the field of building inspections and said that every report to be made in this context is valuable. Underlining the fact that the buildings in the Girne Region can withstand similar earthquakes, Şenkul reiterated his belief that especially the buildings built after 2000 will not pose a problem in terms of durability.

He said that the average life of a building is about 75 years, Şenkul said that a serious inspection is necessary, especially for older buildings, and that they are preparing to take steps in this direction first. Explaining that there are rumors about problematic buildings in the region, Şenkul stated that at this point, a Municipality Controller and two retired volunteer engineers will start preliminary determination studies. Şenkul added that building durability will be the priority. Şenkul also stated that a meeting will be held with the Universities of Kyrenia and that a cooperation protocol will be prepared afterward and noted that the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Architects and Engineers will be a part of this work.

He stated that there is no need to panic about the buildings in the region, and Şenkul reiterated that all necessary steps will be taken within the framework of science. In this context, Şenkul noted that those who think that they have a problem with the basic criteria related to the building they live in can apply to the Girne Municipality Zoning Department. He described those buildings whose foundations draw water in or which water has collected in the basement, buildings where columns of iron are exposed and rusted, old buildings, and buildings with structural defects.

He emphasized that Girne has good grades in terms of ground and building quality, Şenkul stated that everything that needs to be done will be done at the point where structural change is necessary. Şenkul continued by saying “If a building needs to be demolished, it will be demolished as those people that live in them need protection.

Source (Turkish): Girne Municipality

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