This year again commemorations have been organized in the places the earthquake hit while NGO's criticize the government's apathy.
"The reactions that grew up in public and expectations of change after the August 17 earthquake are left unsatisfied" told Mehmet Soganci of the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB).
"Politicians gave promises yet to be realized. Nothing concrete has been done. Earthquakes can't be peoples destiny", he added.
Relatives of victims met in Golcuk
People gathered in Golcuk, which took the worst damage seven years ago, exactly at 03.02 a.m, the time the disaster struck.
Head of the Golcuk Rescue Team (GESOTIM) Necmi Kocaman and his crew lighted a torch on the sea side by side with a flag saying "We didn't forget the disaster, have you?".
Mayor of Kocaeli İbrahim Karaosmanoğlu gave a speech during the ceremony noting that earthquakes are not dangerous but only human intervention and negligence make it harmful.
Karaosmanoglu promised not to repeat the mistakes which turned the earthquake into a disaster seven years ago.
Legal regulations are required
TMMOB on the other hand, drew attention to the fact that there is no comprehensive state policy regarding the measures to be taken to minimize life loss during the predicted earthquake in Istanbul as well as in other parts of the country.
The organization asks the government to leave the policy of giving out amnesty to unregistered housings.
"Planning and specialized legal regulations concerning the responsibilities and competences of professionals working in the field are urgently needed. Chambers of those professions must be provided with the authority of inspection and they should be held accountable in case of a failure".
"The budget is compromised"
TMMOB accuses the government of not being transparent on its implementation of policies after the earthquake and transferring the budget built for it to other areas such as the payment of public workers' salaries and debt payments.
Transfer of public authority of inspection to private sector by Law no. 595 is also denounced. According to the organization the building of safe housings in the region has also been done without following necessary scientific requirements. No resolution in the 8th Development Plan was realized in this regard.
Soganci demanded for the building of planned, earthquake resistant housings which involve the participation of engineers, architects and city planners as well as a national earthquake plan that involves the implementation of necessary legal regulations. (EZÖ/KÖ/EÜ)