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Turkey has a lot of advantages in terms of acquiring residential real estate on its territory. Everyone knows that the country "shakes" from time to time. Since this is not the only country in the world where earthquakes are frequent, you just need to be careful when choosing housing. This was "reminded" by the earthquake in Izmir (in October 2020), when a number of buildings were destroyed. After a study, it turned out that those houses were either already in a state of disrepair, or did not meet the requirements and regulations for construction, and were built with violations.

The recent 2023 disaster is still under investigation, but one thing is already clear - you need to take a measured and proper approach to choosing where to buy a home and the immediate home itself.

In order to prevent potential trouble, 971,895 new home insurance policies were issued after the Izmir earthquake. By the end of 2020, the number of insurance policies issued reached 9 million 992 thousand in Turkey; and with the insurance policies issued in January 2021, the limit of 10 million was successfully crossed.

Since the introduction of compulsory insurance on September 27, 2000, both the authorities and the insurers themselves have been conducting regular information campaigns to explain to the public the importance of purchasing a DASK insurance policy.  

Do you have to insure real estate in Turkey today?

Compulsory earthquake insurance is issued for all residential buildings registered in the land registry within the municipality.

Only buildings used for commercial or industrial purposes are not subject to DASK earthquake insurance. However, insurance is required for certain areas used for trade, stores, offices and similar purposes.

Without a DASK policy, you will not be able to execute title deeds. You will also not be able to get a new water or electricity subscription without a DASK policy.


          To apply for DASK earthquake insurance, property owners should provide:

  • a copy of the TAPY
  • Taxpayer Identification Number (Vergi Numarası) of all persons named in the TAPU
  • Personal phone number (valid in Turkey)
  • Address of the insured property
  • The net area of your property (including any balconies and terraces) and the year of construction.
  • You can take out a DASK public insurance policy at bank branches and insurance companies in Turkey.



The more "sensitive" regions are Istanbul and its environs, as well as the Aegean coast.

Areas of "medium risk" are considered to be: from the resort areas - the Mediterranean coast of Alanya, especially the village of Mahmutlar, part of the Black Sea coast (near Trabzon). And also the continental part of the country: Ankara, Sivas, Aksaray, Konya, Eskisehir, etc.

The calmest place in terms of seismological situation is Mersin. During the last earthquake in February 2023, Mersin was calm, although other parts of Turkey were very badly affected. Looking at the map with the data of the last earthquake, this is clearly visible.





The requirements for developers have now become much more serious. In Turkey, the "Requirements and regulations for anti-seismic construction" are relevant: houses must be able to withstand earthquakes up to 7.5 on the Richter scale. These documents are checked when the house is commissioned.

Due to the fact that the sale of real estate in Turkey is one of the most important sources of income for the country, the management pays much attention to the safety of living in buildings. They have become more careful in searching for new architectural solutions; competent consulting; selection of quality materials for construction; technologies (we mean mass transition to even more earthquake-resistant structures), etc.

One of the main factors the government considers to be the level of awareness of those living in Turkey - or wishing to live here - about the earthquake situation and how to protect themselves as much as possible.

In order to create a reliable mechanism to control the construction of earthquake-resistant, safe and quality buildings, they are divided into three key categories. These are 'those that absolutely have to be demolished', 'those that can be retrofitted' and finally 'buildings without earthquake risk'. In addition to demolition and reconstruction, there is another solution: 'retrofit+reconstruction', which is already used in the EU countries and is quite applicable in Turkey".




It is necessary to remember: taking out earthquake insurance for a building in Turkey is compulsory. If a disaster happens, no one will compensate you for the damage without an insurance policy.

When buying a detached house: take care to take out your own insurance (or check whether it can be reissued to you, if the previous owner had such insurance and it is still a long time to the end of its validity).

When buying an apartment in a sita (apartment complex), in a multi-story building - insurance must be taken out on the building; make sure it is in place.

We emphasize that under the mandatory "package" insurance (where damage from earthquakes, floods, other natural disasters, as well as a terrorist attack is implied) the state is obliged to pay the owner the full cadastral value of the destroyed housing.





In addition to the location of the house, infrastructure, proximity to public transportation, and well-maintained neighborhood, the earthquake resistance of the building is one of the key criteria.

For information on the resistance of a house or apartment in a particular building to earthquakes, and to clarify the potential damage that the building may sustain during an earthquake, it is necessary to request this analysis from the construction site or from the building management company.

If the house was built before 1999, it is better to choose a "younger" structure. Or check the authenticity of all documents several times.


* Clarify the strength of the concrete: it should not be lower than C10 (consult with expert builders "from outside")

* Check if there are cracks in columns and beams. There is moisture on the basement floor, rust on iron structures. Whether there are seashells or other foreign matter in the concrete: all of these can create additional risks.

* Obtain an "earthquake engineering report", and a "risk assessment". These documents can be requested from official authorities - such as the municipality, the local Department of Environment and Urbanization, the county governor's office.

* It is also possible to order testing of the building from an independent expert (private company).

* The building's resistance to earthquakes and the extent of potential damage must also be provided to you upon request by the developer or the siting manager.

Do not rush to make a purchase while the mentioned documents are not in hand! After all, if it suddenly turns out that the building is risky, the authorities can start the process again on the basis of your private survey.

Another important point: don't forget to make sure that the building is constructed in accordance with the purpose of the land plot. After all, it's not just a question of what is formally permitted or prohibited to build on it, but also whether this particular piece of land is suitable for the erection of a building - especially a multi-storey one - from the point of view of seismic hazard.



Buildings built later are more durable and reliable, the age of the building is the most important criteria. Be sure to find out the year of construction of the building you will be buying or renting, whether earthquake testing or risk assessment has been done on older buildings.

It is important to remember that Istanbul and Antalya have a high seismological risk, Karaman and Mersin have the lowest risk in Turkey.

Be sure to contact institutions licensed by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization with a photocopy of the certificate of ownership and identification card. A report on the building you are interested in will be prepared and sent to the municipality within 7 days.

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