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Istanbul schools strengthened, rebuilt following earthquake risks

In response to the devastating earthquakes that struck the southeastern region of the country last year, the Istanbul Governor’s Office initiated a comprehensive inspection of school buildings across the metropolitan city. As a result, 481 high-risk buildings have been rebuilt, and 799 schools have been reinforced to date.

The focus on school buildings in metropolitan areas intensified following the earthquakes centered in Kahramanmaraş. Istanbul, with a student population of 3.4 million out of 20 million nationwide, became a key area of concern.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Education, Istanbul is home to 7,777 schools. The governor’s office identified 1,428 of these schools as at-risk structures.

The governor’s report revealed that 481 of the high-risk schools have been demolished and reconstructed, while 799 have been reinforced to withstand earthquakes.

In the aftermath of the earthquakes, the Ministry of Education mandated that private schools obtain a durability assessment report by the start of the 2023-2024 academic year. Schools failing to comply risked closure.

Zafer Öztürk, chairperson of the Private Schools Association of Türkiye, stated that both the ministry and the governor’s office requested earthquake resistance reports from schools before the summer. “Those schools that were not resistant reinforced their buildings. Some schools even opened in October after completing these preparations,” Öztürk added.

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