Istanbul Municipality plans to renovate 7,000 buildings over earthquake concerns

The Istanbul Municipality is set to embark on a new urban transformation project, targeting nearly 7,000 buildings identified as high-risk in anticipation of a potential major earthquake in the region.


The megacity with over 15.6 million residents that last suffered heavy damage from earthquakes in 1999 is on edge, according to the repeated warnings by experts about the expected quake with a magnitude of 7.0 or higher.

In response, the municipality will offer support to residents who wish to renovate their risky buildings through its subsidiary construction company, KİPTAŞ.

The assistance provided varies based on household income. Those with an income below two minimum wages will receive 60 percent of the renovation costs, and 65 percent if they are retired.

Higher households earning below three minimum wages will receive 40 percent, and 45 percent for retirees. The current minimum wage in Türkiye is 17,002 Turkish Liras.

Temporary rental housing will be made available from KİPTAŞ’s stock flats in urban transformation areas.

The municipality’s earthquake risk management unit plans to propose additional rental assistance to the municipal council.

Around 80,000 families residing in the 6,920 buildings classified as very risky would receive an extra 7,000 liras in rent assistance, with pensioners receiving 9,000 liras.

The proposal also includes a protocol between Istanbul’s metropolitan municipality and the governance of its 39 districts to expand the use of rapid screening tests to assess the earthquake risk of buildings.

To date, municipal teams have visited 113,450 buildings and inspected 35,027 of them, officials say.

The anticipated earthquake, expected to impact Istanbul and surrounding provinces, has been a significant concern for Türkiye, especially after the devastating tremors in the country’s south last year.

The twin earthquakes claimed over 53,000 lives across 11 provinces, affecting around 15 million people.