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Briefing on the politics of earthquakes in Turkey

Briefing on the politics of earthquakes in Turkey


24th August 2017

The threat of earthquake hangs over Turkey, shaping the country’s political landscape

  • Turkey is located in an area of significant seismic activity and experienced a devastating earthquake in August 1999
  • The government’s faltering response contributed to a growing crisis of public confidence in Turkey’s institutions and significant political fallout
  • Another serious earthquake is expected to impact Istanbul, where a construction boom in being driven by a series of controversial government redevelopment projects

The majority of Turkey’s landmass lies on tectonic plate squeezed between its African, Eurasian, and Arabian counterparts. Under pressure from the westward drift of its Arabian neighbour, the Anatolian plate is slowly rotating counter-clockwise, its movement to the north blocked by its Eurasian equivalent. The result is the North Anatolian Fault (NAF), a line of tectonic tension which runs for 1500km along across the north of Turkey and through the Marmara Sea just 20km south of Istanbul…

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Photo credit: WikiCommons



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