Turkey : Gürkan Akgün, Head of İBB Reconstruction and Urbanization Department: Kanal 100 saves Istanbul from the earthquake disaster that will be spent on Istanbul

We talked to Gürkan Akgün, Head of the Department of Reconstruction and Urbanism, in his nose at the 7-month flower of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. With 36-year-old Akgün, who studied university in urban planning and completed his master’s degree, we discussed three vital issues in Istanbul. We talked to Gürkan Akgün, who is aware of the responsibility on his shoulders, first of the earthquake, then Kanal İstanbul and traffic.

The most urgent issue of Istanbul waiting for a solution is an earthquake…

Yes, earthquake is the most vital subject of Istanbul. Unfortunately, Istanbul is not resistant to earthquakes even after all these years. Schools, hospitals have been overhauled, but the buildings built before the 1999 earthquake are at great risk. We organized the Earthquake Workshop, laid the subject on the table and determined the road map. We set out with great coordination and solid teams. The transformation process will begin once we have completed our work on the detection of damaged buildings.

Do you worry about the abundance of non-engineering structures?

Unlicensed buildings without engineering service will be our first intervention areas. Buildings that benefit from Reconstruction amendments must be overhauled. Hospitals, schools, gathering and sheltering areas are very important.

What happens if there is an earthquake over 7 now?

God forbid, I don’t even want to think about it. I pray that the big earthquake should not be in Istanbul without taking some important steps without taking our precautions.

Gürkan Aygün answered the questions of our friend Yüksel Şengül.

What do you feel when you say Kanal Istanbul?

Kanal Istanbul makes me chill. I believe that this project should never be implemented, as environmental, ecology and climate issues are among my priorities. I think like scientists, Kanal Istanbul strikes the future of this beautiful city. Istanbul should not grow north as there are agricultural areas, forest areas, water resources and pastures. Kanal Istanbul poses a great danger.

It has a huge budget…

The cost of Kanal Istanbul is an average of 100 billion liras. Believe in this budget, Istanbul survives the big earthquake that is expected to be destroyed. If the buildings are ready for an earthquake, 100 thousands of citizens of Istanbul will also be saved. Nature is saved, our sea and water resources are saved, our agricultural and forest areas are saved. Most importantly, in this big earthquake, nearly million people are injured, and 100 thousands of citizens who are likely to die will be saved. As a municipality, we filed a lawsuit for the annulment of the EIA positive decision regarding the Kanal Istanbul Project.

We will reduce the traffic problem with metro lines

Let’s come to Istanbul’s traffic problem…

The traffic problem of Istanbul has been multiplied for many years and has survived to the present day. As certain regions were opened to zoning unplanned, the traffic problem grew as it grew. First of all, it is necessary to develop public transportation more and direct everyone to it. We complete the unfinished metro lines, plans for new lines are being made. We aim to reduce the load of traffic by activating the sea in transportation. We are launching the Istanbul Planning Agency, which will determine the vision of Istanbul in 2050. Everything will be fine.

When I saw the Bosphorus, I was immediately hit Istanbul …

You were born in Trabzon and grew up there. How was your first encounter with Istanbul?

My first visit to Istanbul was to travel with my family. When I saw the Bosphorus, I was hit by Istanbul, I was fascinated and it was not on my mind for years. After graduating from Trabzon Kanuni Anatolian High School, I ran to Istanbul for university.


Have you ever thought that you will serve this city one day when you see Istanbul?

Since my father was an architect, ‘zoning and urbanism’ were already in my genes. I studied at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University City and Regional Planning Department. My school was on the shore of the Bosphorus and I knew that one day I would definitely serve Istanbul, where I was connected with great love.