Floods hit the shores of Giresun in the Blacksea region of Turkey. Huge devastation hit the area of Dereli in particular. So far 8 people have died and 11 are missing. 17 buildings have collapsed and 351 buildings are damaged. Over 100 villages have become blocked off and 78 residential areas have lost their electricity. The floods engulfed in muddy waters not just small vehicles, but also minibuses and buses. Debris built up on pavements reaching heights of 3 metres. 31 buildings are being evacuated.
The rainy seasons saw much heavier rainfall than usual. The streams didn’t overflow, the water levels simply rose and the primary reason for the significant damage was because the homes and businesses had been built in the stream bed itself. The Minister for Agriculture and Forests, Bekir Pakdemirli, exonerated the officials who granted permission for the buildings and instead blamed local residents for residing there. Just last year houses built by the collective housing association (known as TOKI and directly linked to the Ministry) were flooded in Samsun and lives were lost as a result.
The Management Board of Turkey’s Association for Architects and Engineers (TMMOB) in their press release stated that “the fundamental reasons for the flooding disasters in the last few years have been human destruction of the environment, wrong water policies and the building of hydroelectric power stations, ill-judged and unplanned urbanisation of stream stream beds, insufficient foundations and central and local government leader’s profiteering politics in cities, and not necessarily climate change”
As SPOT we send our solidarity to those impacted by the floods and call on the Government of Turkey to call to account unscrupulous officials for the lives lost and the damage done, and support those in need of emergency and long term support as a result of these devastating floods.