Turkey will renew 1.5 million houses in five years across the country as part of an urban renewal project of the government, the environment and urbanization minister said on Thursday.
Speaking to the reporters in Istanbul, Murat Kurum said 65,000 renewal projects, including 25,000 to be carried out in Istanbul, would have been completed by the end of 2019.
Out of the 6.7 million buildings which needs renewal, 1.5 million buildings urgently need to be completed within five years, Kurum said.
Some 500,000 of these buildings were in Istanbul, he added.
In Feb. 6, a seven-story building in Istanbul’s Kartal district collapsed leaving 21 people dead.
Some ten apartments around the collapsed building had been analyzed later and eight of them were handed a demolition order.
Kurum said the renewal of these buildings in Kartal would be also completed in December.
The new urban renewal project, Kurum said, was based on four principles which are "transformation of structures and areas under the earthquake risk”, “renewal of areas at risk of floods and landslides”, “renewal of historical city centers and squares” and “transport and renewal of industrial areas”.
Kurum said the renewal project also includes revival of the historical centers and protection of the natural assets by fighting the illegal construction in these places.
"Just like in Bodrum [of the Mediterranean Mugla province], and [Black Sea] plateaus of Ayder and Uzungol, we do not allow illegal construction under any circumstances," Kurum said.
Last month, environment and urbanization minister said more than 20,000 unlicensed constructions were detected and 7,200 of them are along the coast including 3,260 in the southwestern Mugla province.