"Resilient Cities in Turkish Century" Panel Was Held  In Marmara University

A panel titled "Resilient Cities in the Turkish Century" was organized by the Marmara University Idea Training Club on November 8, World Cities Day, in the Mehmet Genç Complex Blue Conference Hall. The opening speeches of the panel were made by GNAT Environment Commission Chairman and AK Party Istanbul Deputy Murat Kurum and Marmara University Rector Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kurt. While the panel was moderated by experienced journalist Mehmet Akif Ersoy, the panelists were geologist  Prof. Dr. Naci Görür, Japanese earthquake expert Yoshinori Moriwaki, and  Associate Professor of Marmara University Faculty of Engineering Kemal Tahir Erdem. The panel emphasizing the importance of sustainable city models in the face of earthquakes attracted great attention.

Making the opening speech of the panel titled "Resilient Cities in the Turkish Century", Kurum said, "Today, we came together in Istanbul, the ancient capital of our civilization, under the roof of Marmara University, one of our most established universities full of historical achievements, which has achieved great success and has special importance for me. On this occasion, I feel a special pleasure to be together with our valuable scientists, our valuable teachers and our bright young people who are the guarantee of our bright future. I would like to thank the management of our university and our Idea Training Club for giving you the opportunity to address you and share my knowledge and experiences on a meaningful day like World Cities Day."

“We Celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Republic with Great Enthusiasm and Excitement”

Stating that they are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Republic with great enthusiasm and excitement in all 81 provinces of Turkey,  Kurum said: “As long as our youth who are in love with their land, flag, country and state exist, our republic will reach many more centuries. Today, you are building not only your own future but also the future of our country. Every idea that settles in your mind today, in these classrooms, and every inspiration that comes to your soul will shape the fifty years of our country. Each step you take today, strictly adhering to the legacy of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of our Republic, will strengthen the Turkey of tomorrow. "Every path you open today will shed light on the Turkey of the future".

“Children Learn to Die Before They Learn to Walk”

Making a statement about the human tragedy in Gaza, “One of the most important values that our great, powerful and ancient history has brought to the world is our understanding of urbanism. Our understanding of urbanism has been built on two foundations for hundreds of years, one of which is architectural and the other is human dimension.  We have combined a unique architectural approach with human emotions such as compassion, humility and tolerance. Today, cruel Israel kills a child every 10 minutes. While we are making this program, 12 innocent children will be slaughtered within 2 hours. However, the world does not belong only to a certain race or a certain culture. The world is the common home of 8 billion people. But unfortunately, children in Gaza today are learning to die before they learn to walk before the eyes of the world. Today, on World Cities Day, we witness the destruction of a city with all its people, living creatures and cultural assets. Hospitals, schools, mosques and churches are being bombed. I wish that the innocent bloodshed would stop as soon as possible, that the tears would subside, and that children would go to their schools and parks in the arms of their fathers and mothers, rather than to their graves in their fathers' arms. I wish the days would come soon when mothers do not cry, fathers do not grieve, and helpless elderly people are not slaughtered” he said.  Kurum continued his speech by saying: " Today, our civilization has given us a message that transcends the ages by succeeding in keeping dozens of different nations, different religions and languages living in unity on the same street, in the same neighborhood. Racism and the cruelty of oppressing the weak that exist in different geographies of the world can only be defeated with respect for humanity. The reason why hundreds of children are dying of hunger in Africa today and thousands of children are being killed in their sleep, in their arms, or in their mothers' arms in Gaza is due to the lack of human feelings and the disregard of the human right to life”.

“We Must Establish an Urbanization Model That Unites Nature and Humans”

Stating that the world population has increased 5 times in the last century, Kurum said, “It is predicted that the world population will be 9.7 billion by 2050. Again, research shows that the world will warm by 2 degrees by 2050. Disasters such as earthquakes, floods, fires and droughts, the effects of which we experience today, will continue to increase in severity in the near future and continue to threaten our cities and lives. Building both a resilient society and resilient cities against these risks has now become a vital issue. At this point, sustainable urbanism has become an important concept in our country, as in all developed countries. In order to ensure uninterrupted sustainability, we must prepare our cities against geopolitical instability, cyber security, energy and infectious disease risks, irregular migration due to the climate crisis, and water scarcity. We must build self-sufficient cities, self-sufficient green buildings. We must establish an urbanization model that does not burden nature but allows nature to breathe. In line with this great goal, during my time as minister, we took important steps by frequently meeting with our scientists and activating the common mind and common decision mechanism. "On the one hand, we pioneered the establishment of green industrial facilities, and on the other hand, we created incentives that will enable the implementation of green buildings."

“Earthquake Is An Important Problem Of Our Country”

Emphasizing the reality of major disasters and earthquakes experienced in our country in recent years, Kurum said, “We experienced earthquakes in Elazığ and İzmir, major fires due to the climate crisis in Antalya and Muğla, devastating floods due to the climate crisis in Kastamonu, Sinop and Bartın, and disasters we have never experienced before, such as the mucilage in the Marmara Sea. Again, on February 6, we experienced the disaster of the century with the Kahramanmaraş earthquakes, which deeply mourned our nation and hurt us. Earthquake is one of the biggest realities of our country. The geography of Anatolia is on one of the most active earthquake zones in the world. Just yesterday, we experienced an earthquake in Marmara that made all of our hearts drop. Unfortunately, more than 70 percent of our country is at risk of earthquake”. Referring to the urban transformation mobilization they initiated with the goal of 'Urban Transformation All Over Turkey', Kurum stated that the transformation of 3 million houses has been completed so far thanks to the mobilization. He said that they are continuing to work to complete the transformation of a total of 6.7 million unhealthy houses in the next 20 years in order to make cities resilient. 

Referring to the urban transformation mobilization they initiated with the goal of "Urban Transformation All Over Turkey", Kurum stated that thanks to the mobilization, the transformation of 3 million houses has been completed so far. Stating that they are continuing to work to complete the transformation of a total of 6.7 million unhealthy houses in the next 20 years in order to make cities resilient, he said, "In the construction and revival process of 11 provinces where the disaster of the century took place, we are working rapidly in the light of all scientific data to revive the region in a scientific, fast and powerful way."  Kurum said, by saying that the process has started, “We have determined the risks of earthquakes, landslides, floods, rockfalls and other disasters in the areas that will be opened for settlement. We examined the selection of new settlements, the morphological, geological, geophysical, geotechnical, hydrogeological, seismotectonic, land use and disaster risk status of destroyed and heavily damaged existing settlements. We carried out the planning and design processes needed for ‘Resilient Cities’. In this sense, we continued our work 24/7, revealing the earthquake resistance of the ground, described as micro-zonation, and studying the soil structure in the region. We decided to meticulously apply the tunnel formwork system on raft foundations in all our buildings, which was the most frequently discussed issue during the earthquake process. We started the construction process of our residential areas, from the plains to the mountains, in places where there will be no liquefaction in the ground that causes destruction in many areas. If God permits, we will eventually start to deliver our permanent residences to our citizens.”

“We Want to Leave a Livable World to Our Future with the 'Zero Waste Movement'”

By saying that it is extremely proud for such valuable names to be brought together within the framework of World Cities Day and to discuss one of the most important issues of our country and the world in our university, in such a beautiful and valuable environment, Rector Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kurt continued his speech as follows: “With their architectural structures and environmental arrangements, cities are important indicators of the development levels of societies, as well as their economic and cultural identities. Throughout history, cities have been people's living centers with the education, science, culture, art and trade opportunities they offer.”

Underlining that it is very difficult to dream of a livable world today, Kurt said, “The population is increasing, needs are increasing, drought is increasing, but the available water resources and cultivated land are not increasing. In its current state, it is just trying to give us life. So, will it be enough for all the demands in the future? Therefore, as inhabitants of this world, it is our duty to work with the awareness that our resources are not infinite and to raise awareness about this vital issue. We have to protect our lives, our future, our world. However, we are also aware that it is an issue that is too comprehensive and deep to yield results with the efforts of our country or a few countries. One of the most important steps taken by our country in this regard is the ‘Zero Waste Movement’. This movement, which has become a global environmental mobilization today, has reached a position that gives us all hope that we can leave a clean, developed Turkey and a livable world to our children and our future."

“We have to protect this world, we feel it is slipping away from us every day, for the future of our youth and children. Holding tightly to life and the world; "We have to protect and be friends of our children with its clean streets and avenues, lush parks and gardens, and nature that tries to stand up against us with all the creatures living in it," said Kurt, and ended his speech by thanking the students and guests who organized the panel.

“We Must Learn to Live with the Reality of Earthquakes”

Making a detailed presentation about earthquakes in the panel, Prof.  Dr. Naci Görür gave detailed information about the reality of earthquakes in Turkey. “There are earthquakes because the world is alive. An earthquake is the pulse of the world that shows that it is alive. If the earthquakes stop, it will be the end of the world. "Therefore, let's not be angry about earthquakes, let's be prepared for earthquakes, let's learn to live with the reality of earthquakes.” Professor Görür said.

Stating that taking precautions against earthquakes is not only about building good constructions, “The public needs to be educated on this issue. Children need to be educated in schools. Managers in local governments also need to be trained on this issue. Only in this way can we be a conscious society," he said.

Japanese earthquake expert Yoshinori Moriwaki gave detailed information about the earthquakes in Japan and Turkey. Providing information about the measures taken against earthquakes in Japan, Moriwaki said, “In Turkey, seismic isolation is used only in hospitals. This needs to become more widespread. He ended his speech by saying, "This system needs to be installed in schools and public buildings."

The panel ended with a gift presentation and photo shoot.