It’s Been 24 Years After a Disaster

Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute held a press conference to draw attention to the earthquake disaster of 17 August 1999.

We are likely to experience an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 anywhere in Turkey,” said Prof. Dr. Haluk Özener said, “When we look at Marmara, there is an unbroken 130 km area within the North Anatolian fault passing through the Marmara Sea. There are Marmara seismic gaps, which we call the Yedisu segment, on the North Anatolian fault in Turkey, and there are seismic gaps on Eastern Anatolia. These are earthquake recurrences. They will continue to break with certain date ranges according to their ranges.” said.

“One of the Locations with the Most Active Fault Lines in Turkey”

The opening speech of the meeting was made by Boğaziçi University Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute Director Prof. Dr. Haluk Özener made it. Özener said, “12 thousand earthquakes have been recorded with a scale greater than 4 in 120 years. Here you can see how intense seismic activity our country has. There are definitely earthquakes between 3 and 3.9. We have an earthquake between 4 and 4.9 almost every week. We have between 5 and 5.9 earthquakes every 1.5 months, between 6 and 6.9 earthquakes in an average of 1.5 years and more than 7 earthquakes in an average of 6.2 years in this geography. Unfortunately, it is happening. Therefore, our country is a land of earthquakes. If you look at the numbers for which earthquake solutions have been made, there have been more than 46 thousand earthquakes as of today, especially after the two major earthquakes we experienced in 2023. As you can see, the earthquakes concentrated on the place where the Gaziantep-Maraş earthquakes took place. There was an earthquake with a magnitude of 5 in that region. The number of earthquakes over 4 was also over 600.” he explained.

“We Have Nearly 500 Active Faults That Can Produce Earthquakes Over 5.5”

Prof. Dr. Haluk Özener, “When we look at the years between 2020 and 2023, there are 3,000 earthquakes in Marmara within 3 years. Some of them may have 4 earthquakes on average every year or in some years, even 4 earthquakes. Therefore, Marmara is a seismically active area. As you know, Turkey is an earthquake country. According to the active fault map prepared by MTA, we have close to 500 active faults that can produce earthquakes over 5.5. But as you know, these faults produce earthquakes very often, some of which take a little longer. Sometimes there can be earthquakes in regions where you think there will be no earthquakes, and in areas that are claimed to be very strong, for example in Konya. Actually, there is an earthquake here as well, since there is a fault, but that fault has not been detected before because it has no trace on the earth. Therefore, this is an active fault. it’s not inscribed on the map.” said.

“There Are Faults That Wait 2,500 Years and Accumulate Energy” 

Prof. Dr. Özener, “While there is a fault line that accumulates energy in the Aegean in 100 years, this situation can reach around 800 and thousand years in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia. In some regions, there are faults that accumulate energy for 2,000, 2,500 years. There is a very high probability that we will experience an earthquake with a magnitude of 7. So there are seismic gaps.” he said. Özener said, “We started to meet the tsunami after the İzmir and Bodrum-Kos earthquake. The 30-40 cm tsunami wave in 2017 didn’t mean much to us, but we saw the tsunami after the Sığacık earthquake. The tsunami waves advanced about 1-1.5 kilometers into the land,” Özener said.

“We Can’t Tell When The Earthquake Will Happen”

At the press conference, Boğaziçi University Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute Regional Earthquake Tsunami Monitoring and Evaluation Center Director Assoc. Dr. Doğan Kalafat also gave a speech. Kalafat said, “The earthquake risk of the region is clear. Therefore, we should try to minimize the risks of the earthquake that will occur rather than saying too much about it. We need to show this effort in an integrated way. That is, starting from the local administrations, the central administration, NGOs, neighborhood organizations and As citizens, we need to work together to reduce this risk. We can tell where and how big an earthquake might be, within a certain margin of error, but we cannot say when it might happen. There is a danger of an earthquake. The message we will take from this is that we definitely and definitely make our cities resistant to earthquakes. The second message is that if we continue to live in this geography, we must become a society that is prepared and resilient to disasters.” said.