Living with an Earthquake

The Reality of Earthquakes in Turkey

Turkey is a country prone to earthquakes, with 98% of its territory seismically active and located on different plate boundaries (see Turkey Earthquake Zones Map, pg. 16-17). The 17 August Marmara earthquake and the 12 November Düzce earthquake in 1999, which resulted in tragic loss of life and property, remain etched in our memories as a painful reminder of this reality.

These two major disasters, which occurred within a short space of time, play an important role in raising earthquake awareness in Turkey. When we look at what we have experienced as a country and as individuals, we can observe that those who had taken the necessary precautions before the earthquake were able to continue their lives with hope after the earthquake.

It is possible to protect ourselves from earthquakes by learning how earthquakes occur, by seeking information about their risks and by being prepared.

What is an Earthquake?

Earthquakes are natural events which occur in many parts of the world. About 3.5 million earthquakes occur in the world each year. Only one million of them can be recorded, while only around 34,000 can be felt.

In the world;

800 moderate earthquakes of between 5.0 and 5.9 on the Richter scale occur each year, inflicting minor damage.

Approximately 120 strong earthquakes, between 6.0 - 6.9 Richter scale, occur each year, causing damage.

18 potentially devastating major earthquakes on the 7.0 to 7.9 Richter scale occur each year.

Every 10 to 20 years, a great earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0-8.9 on the Richter scale, which can cause disaster, occurs.


In the short term, it is impossible to predict where and when an earthquake will strike with any certainty.

No system or technology capable of predicting earthquakes yet exists anywhere in the world.

For this reason, any speculation that the earthquake will occur on a certain date is always unfounded. All energy and time should be focused on preparation and prevention without crediting unfounded rumors and creating unnecessary panic.

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