Türkiye - 1.1 Humanitarian Background

Disasters, Conflicts and Migration 

Natural Disasters 



Comments / Details 



Drought is common in Türkiye, especially in the south and center of the country, with 2021 being the driest in 2 decades. Droughts are forecast to occur more frequently due to climate change, and 2023 began with drought. Most water loss is due to poor irrigation. In 2022 the World Bank said that “without reform, a 10% fall in water supply in Türkiye could reduce GDP by 6% 



Türkiye is in one of the most actively deforming regions in the world. In Türkiye, there are partly large earthquakes with strengths of more than 7.0, which cause damages within a radius of over 100 kilometers. Compared to the size of the country, earthquakes occur with above-average frequency 

Since 1950, more than 85,000 people died from the direct consequences of earthquakes. There were 7 earthquakes that also caused a subsequent tsunami, which claimed further lives and cause additional damage. 

The strongest earthquake in Türkiye happened on 02/06/2023 in Türkiye; Syria region with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale. The shifting of tectonic plates in a depth of 17 km resulted in 49470 deaths. 



Türkiye reported its first COVID-19 case on March 10, 2020. Although a variety of preventive measures had been put into practice at individual and public levels starting from mid-January 2020 and were tightened over the course of COVID-19 in Türkiye, the number of cases has increased rapidly. Türkiye has risen to the list of top 10 countries with the highest COVID-19 cases globally 

Extreme Temperatures 


on 20th July 2021, Türkiye set a new national temperature record, as the Cizre district in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa registered a temperature of 49.1°C, local media outlets said. 

The previous record, 49.0°C was registered on Aug. 27, 1961 – again in Cizre. 


The lowest temperature in the country was recorded in the Çaldıran district in the eastern province of Van on Jan. 9, 1990 at -46.4°C. 



Istanbul Flood, 2009 

The 2009 Turkish flash floods were a series of flash floods that occurred on 9 September 2009 in and around Istanbul, Tekirdağ, and the rest of the Marmara Region of Türkiye. The floods led to the death of at least 31 people and the cost of damage has been estimated as being in excess of $70 million. At least 31 people were killed across the region and dozens were stranded in cars or on rooftops and an unknown number remain missing. Three of the deaths occurred in the western suburbs of Istanbul on 8 September, and 21 people lost their lives in Istanbul on 9 September. 


In some places the water reached a meter (3 ft) in height, cutting access to Istanbul's main airport and the highway running to Bulgaria and Greece. According to state-run news agency Anatolia News, one building collapsed, although there were no reported casualties. In northwest Türkiye two bridges on the Bahçeköy–Saray highway were also destroyed by floods at the same time. More than 200 cars have been washed into the Marmara Sea and dozens of trucks damaged. 


Heavy rainfall hit Edirne, a north-western province on the border with Greece, causing the Tunca and Meriç riverbeds to overflow and forcing hundreds of people to be evacuated from their villages to safer zones on Sunday.  

1,500 people had to evacuate in the Karaağaç neighbourhood and all residents living in Değirmen Village. The evacuated residents were placed in a public gymnasium hall, as experts expect the river discharge to rise to 2,500 cubic meters per second.  


The overflow of Tunca and Meriç rivers as a result of heavy precipitation caused closures on the main road in Karaağaç neighbourhood, where 5000 people reside. 


Insect Infestation 





Earthquakes and landslides are the most serious geological hazards in Türkiye. The landslide phenomenon in Türkiye is mostly observed in the Eastern Black Sea Region in the Black Sea Region, mostly in the Central and Eastern Anatolia Regions almost every year lead to many loss of life and property 

1985 WEST CARIBBEAN MARITIME DISTRICTS: Following the extremely snowy winter season, 1684 houses in Zonguldak, Kastamonu and Sinop provinces suffered landslide damage, which suddenly appeared at the beginning of spring as snow. 

23.06.1988 ÇATAK TEXTURE: Catak village in Trabzon Province, Türkiye, is a scattered collection of houses on the main Trabzon-Erzurum road, 30 km inland from the Black Sea coast. The village is sited on the valley floor of the Degirmen River, which has incised deeply through an alternating sequence of Upper Cretaceous flysch deposits and volcanic lavas to yield steep terrain with a relative relief of about 1000 m. The confined nature of the valley floor at Catak, together with the additional constraints imposed by a river confluence and a cemetary, necessitated that improvement of the road in 1984 involved an alignment on the eastern margin of the valley. This cut into the base of a slope 225 m high, standing at an overall angle of 40°. On 22 June 1988 the colluvial materials mantling the lower part of this slope failed and blocked the road. A grader was despatched to the scene, but clearing operations were postponed until the morning because of fears that continuing heavy rainfall might cause further failures. The Catak landslide received widespread media coverage as the death toll was initially estimated as being up to 300 people. 


The events of landslides and floods, which caused the death of 65 people in each of the three villages and caused massive loss of money, came to fruition. 

07 / 08.08.1998 TRABZON-BEŞKÖY LAYER: 50 people lost their lives and 101 houses were destroyed. Trabzon, which is located in the northeast region near the Black Sea, is one of the areas where landslides most commonly occur. Between 1950 and the present, there have been more than 270 landslides in Trabzon. The factors affecting the occurrence of landslides are the morphology of the region, geological structure, weathering of rocks, meteorological characteristics, settlement types, and various types of excavation work. Heavy precipitation, sloping topography, and the removal of forests for agricultural purposes increase the landslide risk. 


Following the earthquake of 5.3, a mountain slip on the mountain near the Babakale Harbor in the Ayvacik district came to the scene. There was a landslide during an earthquake on a steep slope at Babakale Harbor, which is very close to the earthquake zone. 

Volcanic Eruptions 


Türkiye isn’t best known for exploding mountains, but the fact is that it has both active and extinct volcanoes, one of which is none other than the famed Mount Ararat. The last major volcanic disaster in Türkiye occurred in 1840 from Mount Ararat, when an estimated 1900 people lost their lives. However, there is a 70% chance of a major eruption in this century based on global statistics and preliminary analysis of Turkish eruption records. 

High Waves / Surges 


A total of 7 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 365 have killed 705 people in Türkiye. Compared to other countries, Tsunamis, therefore, occur rather rarely. 

The strongest tidal wave registered in Türkiye so far reached a height of 5.3 meters. On 10/30/2020, no losses of human lives have been registered by this tsunami. 



Wildfires in the forests of Türkiye are common in summer, principally in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions, Since the 1940's the number of fires per year had increased from around 1000 to around 3500. 

In July and August 2021, a series of more than two hundred wildfires burnt 1,700 square kilometres of forest in Türkiye's Mediterranean Region in the worst-ever wildfire season in the country's history. The wildfires started in Manavgat, Antalya Province, on 28 July 2021, with the temperature around 37 °C (99 °F). As of 9 August 2021, two fires were still burning, both in Muğla. The fires are part of a larger series of wildfires, including those in neighbouring Greece, originating from a heatwave made more likely by climate change. 

Other Comments 


Man-Made Issues 

Civil Strife 


Approximately thirty million Kurds live in the Middle East—primarily in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Türkiye—and the Kurds comprise nearly one-fifth of Türkiye’s population of seventy-nine million. The PKK, established by Abdullah Ocalan in 1978, has waged an insurgency since 1984 against Turkish authorities with the objective of establishing an independent Kurdish state. The ongoing conflict has resulted in nearly forty thousand deaths. 


in June 2013 Gezi Park protests, a group of activists staged a sit-in at Istanbul’s Gezi Park, protesting the Turkish government’s plans to demolish the park to build a replica of the Ottoman-era Taksim Military Barracks that would include a shopping mall. The forced eviction of protesters from the park sparked an unprecedented wave of mass demonstrations. Around 3 million people took to the streets across Türkiye over a three-week period. 


in July 2016 coup attempt, a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces, organized as the Peace at Home Council, attempted a coup d'état against state institutions, including the government. They attempted to seize control of several places in Ankara, Istanbul, Marmaris, and elsewhere, such as the Asian side entrance of the Bosphorus Bridge but failed to do so after pro-government protestors tackle them. During the coup attempt, over 300 people were killed and more than 2,100 were injured. Many government buildings, including the Turkish Parliament and the Presidential Palace, were bombed. 


International Conflict 


The Cyprus conflict is an ongoing dispute between Greek Cypriots in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north. Initially, with the occupation of the island by the British Empire from the Ottoman Empire in 1878 and subsequent annexation in 1914, the "Cyprus dispute" was a conflict between the Turkish and Greek islanders. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot community unilaterally declared independence, forming the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a sovereign entity that lacks international recognition with the exception of Türkiye, with which Northern Cyprus enjoys full diplomatic relations, in violation of Resolution 550, adopted on 11 May 1984 by the United Nations Security Council. 

As a result of the two communities and the guarantor countries committing themselves to finding a peaceful solution to the dispute, the United Nations maintains a buffer zone (known as the "Green Line") to avoid any further intercommunal tensions and hostilities. This zone separates the southern areas of the Republic of Cyprus (predominantly inhabited by Greek Cypriots), from the northern areas (where Turkish Cypriots and Turkish settlers are a majority). Recent years have seen a warming of relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, with officially renewed reunification talks beginning in early 2014, though the talks have continuously stalled and resumed multiple times since they began. United Nations-led talks in 2021 similarly failed. 

Internally Displaced Persons 


According to MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli, due to the earthquakes that began on 6 February 2023, 1,914,292 people are sheltered in tents, containers, dormitories, hotels, public guesthouses and facilities and other accommodation areas in and outside the disaster area. 

Refugees Present 


Türkiye currently hosts the largest refugee population in the world with nearly 4 million people. 

Some 3.7 million of them are Syrians who fled the ongoing conflict that has been ravaging their country for over 11 years, while 322,000 registered refugees come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Somalia amongst other countries. Most refugees in Türkiye live outside camps, with growing but still limited access to basic services. 

Landmines / UXO Present 


According to Turkish government data, Türkiye has a total of 3,834 areas measuring 145,733,105 square meters containing 855,782 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. It has 20,275 anti-personnel mines positioned in 43 zones along the Armenian border and 116,115 mines in 471 zones along the Iranian border. Türkiye has 78,917 mines at 874 places along the Iraqi border. Most mines were planted along the Syrian border, where 411,490 anti-personnel and 194,615 anti-tank mines remain. In total Türkiye has nearly 700,000 mines that need to be destroyed by 2025. 

Other Comments 


For a more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters Country Profile. 

Seasonal Effects on Logistics Capacities 

Seasonal Effects on Transport 

Transport Type 

Time Frame 

Comments / Details 

Primary Road Transport 

mid-December to mid-March 

Severe winter weather, including low temperatures, high winds, and heavy precipitation, causes ground and air transport disruption Traffic and commercial trucking delays are possible along regional highways. Difficult and potentially dangerous driving conditions are also likely on secondary and rural roadways in the affected provinces as maintenance crews prioritize clearing major routes. Authorities could close stretches of the highway if driving conditions become too hazardous. Mountain passes and tunnels could be closed as a precautionary measure during periods of intense snowfall. Gusty winds may threaten to topple high-profile vehicles throughout the affected area. Flight delays and cancellations are likely due to ground stops and de-icing operations at airports in the affected regions. 

Secondary Road Transport 

mid-December to mid-March 

Same as Primary Transportation 

Rail Transport 

mid-December to mid-March 

Flooding or snow could block regional rail lines; freight and passenger train delays and cancellations are possible in areas that see heavy rainfall and potential track blockages. 

Air Transport 

mid-December to mid-March 

Severe winter weather, including low temperatures, high winds, and heavy precipitation, causes ground and air transport disruption Traffic. Flight delays and cancellations are likely due to ground stops and de-icing operations at airports in the affected regions. 

Waterway Transport 

mid-December to mid-March 

Rising sea levels and greater wave activity causing erosion put vital coastal transport infrastructure at risk causing disruptions to operations and closure of seaports for many days also Floodwaters and related debris may render some bridges impassable 



Seasonal Effects on Storage and Handling 

Activity Type 

Time Frame 

Comments / Details 



No significant Effect 



No significant Effect 

Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response 


Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) 

The 1999 Marmara earthquake marked a turning point in the area of disaster management and coordination. This devastating disaster clearly demonstrated the need to reform disaster management and compelled the country to establish a single government institution to single-handedly coordinate and exercise legal authority in cases of disaster and emergencies. In line with this approach, the Turkish Parliament passed Law No.5902 in 2009 to form the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) under the Prime Ministry and abolish various agencies under whose jurisdiction the issue previously fell. Türkiye adopted a presidential system of governance after a referendum that took place on April 16, 2017. And the new executive presidential system entered into force with the June 24 elections. Presidential Decree No. 4 which was published in the Official Gazette on July 15, 2018, and the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (previously an agency under the office of the Prime Ministry) re-formed as an agency under the Ministry of Interior. 

Disaster and Emergency Management Authority is an institution working to prevent disasters and minimize disaster-related damages, plan and coordinate post-disaster response, and promote cooperation among various government agencies. 

AFAD currently has 81 provincial branches across Türkiye in addition to 11 search and rescue units. 

Notwithstanding its position as the sole authority on disasters and emergencies, AFAD cooperates with a range of government institutions and non-governmental organizations depending on the nature and severity of individual cases. 

Over the past seven years, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority coordinated to Türkiye's response to a number of devastating earthquakes and floods, among others, and helped survivors get their lives back on track. At the international level, AFAD completed successful missions to provide humanitarian assistance to over 50 countries in 5 continents including Somalia, Palestine, Ecuador, Philippines, Nepal, Yemen, Mozambique, Chad, and many others. 

Address: Üniversiteler Mah. Dumlupınar Bulvarı No: 159 ( Eskişehir Yolu 9. Km ) Çankaya/ Ankara 

Mail: basin.halklailiskiler@afad.gov.tr 

Pbx: 0 (312) 258 23 23 

Fax: 0 (312) 258 2082 

Updated contact list: https://en.afad.gov.tr/afad-contact-list  

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Government Contact List  


The United Nations in Türkiye 

The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945, after the Second World War, by 51 countries including Türkiye, to achieve a great vision for humanity: maintaining international peace and security, promoting sustainable development, and securing human rights. Its membership now encompasses 193 countries, with its work touching the lives of people in every corner of the globe. As a founding member of the United Nations, Türkiye has actively and significantly contributed to facilitating effective implementation of the UN mandate, ranging from peacekeeping and peace building to improving the lives and livelihoods of the poor world-wide. 

The Organization has been working for more than 50 years in Türkiye, as a partner with the government, private sector, media, women’s groups, NGOs, academia and other representatives of civil society to support the implementation of Türkiye's national vision and implement national programmes and priorities.  

UN Türkiye initiatives place special emphasis on building capacity, assisting in the design and formulation of national policies, strategies and action plans, sharing information, knowledge and experience and bringing best practices from around the globe to enrich the national development process, in addition to transferring Türkiye's success story in development to third countries. 

Cooperation framework between the UN and Türkiye is to improve Türkiye’s performance in human development indices taking into consideration Türkiye’s status as an upper Middle Income Country (MIC) on the one hand, and the comparative and competitive advantages of the United Nations system in Türkiye on the other. 

As a result of enhanced cooperation between Türkiye and the UN, İstanbul has become a regional hub to several UN agencies including the UN Development Coordination Office (DCO). The UN will continue to further strengthen the close work with the Turkish Government. 

Türkiye continues to host the largest number of refugees worldwide, with close to 4.1 million refugees, including 3.7 million Syrians and nearly 322,000 asylum-seekers and refugees of other nationalities. UN will continue to work with Türkiye in refugee and migrant related issues and urge international community for more burden sharing in humanitarian issues. 

UN Agencies contact list (Updated) : https://turkiye.un.org/en/contact-us  


OCHA Türkiye is one of the three OCHA hubs working together to implement the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) collectively in the spirit of the whole of Syria.   

The coordination system in southern Türkiye for cross-border operations to Syria was established in 2013. OCHA Türkiye works with the United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners including international organizations, Syrian NGOs, Turkish NGOs, and various governmental and other authorities to support needs assessments, identification and analysis of needs, share information on the response, provide access analysis and facilitate the operating environment including on border crossing regulations. OCHA supports the southern Türkiye coordination architecture comprised of nine clusters, the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG), other coordination forums, and the Humanitarian Liaison Group (HLG) under the leadership of the Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator (DRHC).  

OCHA Türkiye is responsible for the daily management of all programmatic and financial aspects of the Syria Cross-border Humanitarian Fund (SCHF) on behalf of the Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator. The SCHF provides funding for projects that are in line with the priorities and objectives of the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan. (https://www.unocha.org/syrian-arab-republic)   

For more information about the cross-border humanitarian response from Türkiye to Syria, please visit: Türkiye cross-border operations. (https://response.reliefweb.int/turkiye-cross-border?_gl=1%2A1evtun6%2A_ga%2AMTY0Nzc3NzcuMTY4Mjg2MDY5Ng..%2A_ga_E60ZNX2F68%2AMTY5MDkwMDIzNS40LjEuMTY5MDkwMTE5MS41LjAuMA )   

Turkish Red Crescent 

From the time of its establishment in 1868, the Turkish Red Crescent, besides contributing to the development of social welfare has been providing, presenting, and offering various and important services for social solidarity such as shelter and protection to the poor and needy, aids for nourishment and health care, blood, disaster operations, international aids, social services, health, first aid, education and youth, housing, immigration and refugee protection as well as operating mineral water facilities. 


In July 2020, Kızılay Logistics was established in order to provide logistical support to Turkish Red Crescent activities and to create financial benefits. With over 150 years of experience and strong infrastructure of Kızılay, it provides logistics planning, warehouse and transportation operations services in accordance with the principles of operational excellence for both the Association and its other customers (private and humanitarian sector).  


Address: Kirimli Dr. Aziz Bey Binasi. Mustafa Kemal Mah. 2143 SI. 6510. Ankara, Istanbul  

Mail: info@kizilaylojistik.com.tr  

Pbx: 0212 263 18 85  


For more information on humanitarian agency contact details, please see the following link: 4.2 Humanitarian Agency Contact List 


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