National Correspondent:   
Mrs. Ýrep GÜREL
Prime Ministry, Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency
Email: irep.gurel@afetacil.gov.tr
Web site: http://www.basbakanlik.gov.tr/Forms/pMain.aspx


National News Higlhlights

PPRD South Technical Assistance to Turkey on Risk Assessment and Mapping

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hai2The PPRD South Exchange of Experts on “the EU & UN experiences and tools for risk assessment and mapping” organized in Rome and Milan in July 2012 addressed also the  request of technical assistance  made by the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).  This exchange has also contributed to advancing Turkish national expertise on the utilisation of web GIS technologies for hazard assessment and mapping and on most recent developments in the EU in the field of vulnerability analysis. This  exchange of expert has benefited from the participation of experts from the Italian Civil Protection Department, the Italian Polytechnic Universities of Milan and Turin, the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, the United Nations World Food Program and the Institute for the Methodologies of Environmental Analysis (IMAA) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR).

The agenda, the list of participants and the presentations made during this PPRD South activity are available for download on the Programme web site

New Civil Protection Director General appointed in Turkey

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foktayOn 2 January 2012 Dr. Fuat Oktay was appointed Director General of the Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency.

Fuat Oktay was born in Yozgat-Çekerek in 1964. He got his Business Degree in Turkey, and his MBA, M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering and Ph. D in Industrial Engineering in the United States.

During his career Fuat Oktay held several key positions in the aviation and automotive industry. During his stay in US, he worked for Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. He gave a lecture at Universities both in the US and in Turkey. He provided consultancy services to different public and private companies and he worked as Director General or Deputy President in some of these companies.

He specialized in economic crisis management and served as Deputy Dean and Chairman of Business Department at Beykent University. During the last three years he worked for Turkish Airlines Technical Inc. where he was Board Member of “Aircraft Engine Maintenance Center”. Moreover, he was member of British-Turkish Council, German-Turkish Council and Spanish-Turkish Council Executive Committees in Foreign Economic Relations Board.

PPRD South welcomes the new Director General with the certitude that he will contribute even more to strengthening and deepening of the collaboration of Turkey in the implementation of the PPRD South Programme's activities.


UNISDR: Insurance necessary for resilience in earthquake zones

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By Dizery Salim, UNISDR

– Turkey’s 23 October quake revealed that only 9 per cent of building owners were insured despite it being mandatory in the country’s municipal areas.

Turkey’s main earthquake insurance authority says the low figure comes from having too few people with insurance in the affected region, citing lack of awareness, people with incomes too low to purchase insurance, and lax enforcement.

According to risk modelling firms, low levels of insurance use in Turkey is likely to place the cost of Sunday’s quake at $170 million to insurance companies – a small fraction of the $12 billion incurred after the New Zealand earthquake in February, and $22 billion after Japan’s combined earthquake and tsunami in March.

UNISDR, the UN’s disaster reduction office, says insurance, while not a cure-all, can soften the blow for people trying to bounce back from disaster.

“Insurance is not a panacea,” said Andrew Maskrey, lead author of UNISDR’s Global Assessment Report for Disaster Risk Reduction, “but it helps individuals cope after suffering losses from a big earthquake or storm. However, if countries don’t invest in disaster risk reduction then insurance will not be affordable.”

aq2In rural Africa, where entire food crops can be destroyed by drought or flood, insurance could play a strong role in helping people recover. Yet take-up is extremely low because insurance is not the usual cultural practice, said Tricia Holly Davis, Director of Commercial Sustainability at Willis Re/Willis Research Network, a member of UNISDR’s private sector advisory group on disaster risk reduction.

“Insurance could play a key part of any society’s ability to function in the face of extreme catastrophe. But how do you explain insurance to a society that has never used it?” said Ms. Davis, whose company is also a founding sponsor of the Global Earthquake Model, a project for modelling earthquake risk initiated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

But even in countries like Turkey and Japan, where the market for insurance is relatively mature, there are low penetration rates among individuals for building insurance, despite high public awareness about earthquake hazards. In California, USA, known for frequent tremblors, fewer than 12 per cent of homeowners had earthquake insurance.

Ms. Davis said governments had a role in boosting community resilience through insurance. “There needs to be a lot more understanding about the level of responsibility and resources that governments have,” she said. “How do you get governments to budget for disaster risk reduction in national allocation plans? And as part of that, what role does insurance play? Through the UN platform we are able to have conversations with governments, to understand them better and, in turn, to help inform policy.”

Turkish commercial enterprises, on the other hand, have invested heavily in business continuity services to protect their assets and manage operational risks to their businesses, said Mikdat Kadioglu, a professor at Istanbul Technical University and author of a recent country assessment report on disaster risk reduction.

After two massive earthquakes struck northwestern Turkey in 1999, the country’s gross domestic product dropped (GDP) by 6.1%. Sunday’s earthquake, according to early estimates by the CEDIM Forensic Earthquake Analysis Group, may range from 10 to 25 per cent of provincial GDP.



The Turkish views on the Union for the Mediterranean

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On 5 May 2010 the Directors General of the Civil Protection Authorities of the countries participating to the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) met in Paris, under the co-presidency of Egypt and France and the Spanish Presidency of the European Union, to examine the UfM Civil Protection activities. A general progress report on the first two years of UfM initiative is being prepared and will be presented at the next UfM Summit Meeting of Heads of State and Government scheduled for November 2010 in Barcelona. The disaster and emergency management chapter of the report is considered one of the more important. It includes also a list of project proposals.

In this context, Turkey confirmed his interest in hosting one of the forest fire-fighting bases in the Mediterranean region in order to enhance the regional coordinated capacity of response to forest fires. Turkey also encourages the establishment of the Educational Center for Disaster and Emergency Management considered the necessity of education and training activities in disasters management in the region, and the importance of sharing experiences, knowledge and facilities among the countries of the Mediterranean in view to improve regional coordination and cooperation.

Turkey also highlighted the possible national contributions to the chapters of the report and work plan related to disaster preparedness and post-disaster response. This are certainly sectors in which the country can count on a number of success stories and therefore is willing to share them with the other UfM Members.

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