Legal Framework


The earthquakes hitting the Marmara Region in 1999 are the most important disasters experienced by Turkey. What set these earthquakes apart from their predecessors was their primary characteristics, such as how they hit areas with large populations and heavy industry and how they affected a very large area, which made it necessary to revise our disaster management structure. To fill the gaps in coordination, General Directorate of Emergency Management of Turkey was established in 2000, the building inspection system was fully changed, and insurance coverage was made mandatory. However, the way the three main organizations working in disaster management, namely the General Directorate of Emergency Management of Turkey, General Directorate of Disaster Affairs and General Directorate of Civil Defense, were organized under three different ministries caused the continuation of problems in this area.
In line with the lessons learned from disasters and taking into consideration the changes in the world, the Republic of Turkey started to work on developing a system in which the central level would be responsible for coordination and the local level would be strengthened as it was understood that local management of disasters would be more effective.
As a result of these studies, Law no.5902 was adopted in 2009 to eliminate the problem of coordination between agencies involved in the disaster management system; with the Law, these three general directorates were abolished, and the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency was established, with Provincial Disaster and Emergency Directorates established at the local level in provinces, directly attached to the Governorates. The Law replaced the old crisis management approach with a new mentality that gave priority to risk management.