Post-earthquake Housing Policy in Van: An Evaluation from a Social Policy Perspective

Topal, Çağatay
2011 Van Earthquake was the initiator of an urban reconstruction wave across Turkey primarily targeting disaster-risky areas. Since then, it was mostly through mass housing and urban regeneration projects that the state aimed at the compensation of past damages and the mitigation of future ones. Relying on a social policy background, this paper aims to analyze whether the housing policies implemented during the post-earthquake recovery process of the city of Van were directed towards the benefit of citizens or towards the interests of the private sector. In the paper, three interrelated processes are analyzed: mass housing, reconstruction of the city center, and housing problem of vulnerable groups. Along with the examination of the related laws, reports and policies, the paper also benefits from the expert interviews, site observations, and media sources. Our findings demonstrate that the post-earthquake housing policies and practices in Van were not consistent with welfare principles and did not meet the requirements of participatory social policy approaches. The housing policy in question did not prefer a participatory and welfare-oriented path and ignored the vulnerabilities of those in need the most. In this sense, it became an example of an exclusionary top-down policy practice.


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2011 Van Earthquake was the initiator of an urban transformation wave across Turkey primarily targeting disaster-risky areas. Today’s conjuncture shows that public actions aiming at the compensation of past damages and the mitigation of future ones have been mostly embodied in state-led mass housing and urban regeneration projects. In this context, the main aim of this thesis is to analyze housing policies implemented in post-earthquake recovery process of the city of Van. Welfare issues brought about polic...
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Citation Formats
C. ERTÜRK and Ç. Topal, “Post-earthquake Housing Policy in Van: An Evaluation from a Social Policy Perspective,” İdealkent, pp. 849–877, 2020, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: