Following a severe earthquake in southern Turkey, Habip Yapar and many other residents encountered unforeseen obstacles.
Following a severe earthquake in southern Turkey, Habip Yapar and many other residents encountered unforeseen obstacles.

Turkish Earthquake Survivors Face Property Seizures


Following a devastating earthquake in southern Turkey, Habip Yapar and numerous other homeowners faced unexpected challenges when the government announced plans to seize their properties for redevelopment. 

Despite surviving the earthquake relatively unscathed, Yapar and others received text messages informing them of the government’s decision to transfer ownership of their homes to the Treasury under a new urban planning law.

Government’s Rationale for Property Seizures:

Urbanisation Minister Mehmet Ozhaseki cited the need for enhanced powers granted by the amendment to accelerate the reconstruction of neighborhoods severely affected by the earthquake. 

The earthquake struck Hatay province and caused significant damage, particularly in areas bordering Syria. The government’s slow progress in reconstruction efforts has prompted it to implement measures to expedite the process.

Lack of Clarity and Communication:

The government’s decision to seize properties and designate them as “reserve building areas” has left thousands of homeowners in limbo. 

Despite the regulation’s passing in November, affected individuals remain uninformed about crucial details, including the financial obligations they may face, compensation entitlements, and the duration of the government’s possession of their properties. 

Many learned about the seizures through social media or text messages, exacerbating confusion and frustration.

Legal Challenges and Government Response:

In response to the property seizures, affected homeowners and legal representatives have filed lawsuits with the Hatay administrative court seeking to contest the orders. 

However, the government has remained largely unresponsive to inquiries and requests for clarification from opposition parties and affected individuals.

Personal Impact and Struggles:

For individuals like Habip Yapar, the prospect of losing their homes and facing uncertain futures has added to the trauma of the earthquake. 

Despite living in temporary shelters, many survivors are determined to rebuild their homes independently and reject financial assistance from the government.

Joshua Skate

Joshua Skate is a prominent contributor at Insider Los Angeles, known for his vibrant storytelling and deep dive into the city's culture, trends, and hidden gems. His pieces bring to life the unique spirit and diversity of Los Angeles, making him a go-to source for all things LA.

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