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02/27/2023

State intervention can solve the housing problem after earthquake in Türkiye

State intervention can solve the housing problem after earthquake in Türkiye

United World International author Mehmet Perinçek gave two different interviews to the Russian RIA Novosti news agency about the housing problem after the earthquake in Türkiye. We present the two interviews, dated February 14 and February 23, published in Russian, to our readers together translated into English.

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The placement of earthquake victims in the southeast of Türkiye in university dormitories will contribute to the continuation of the inflow of income into the country from tourism, Turkish analyst Mehmet Perinçek told RIA Novosti. Turkish universities will switch to distance learning in connection with the earthquake, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said earlier. According to him, residents of the disaster zone will be accommodated in all hostels on the balance of the state.

“The past situation with the pandemic and the current situation with earthquakes in the southeast of Türkiye showed that the private sector of the economy is not able to cope with the obstacles. Government intervention has become a necessity. There is a TOKI (social housing) project of the state, most of the buildings built under the project survived during earthquakes. What does this mean? That state control and intervention are important”, the analyst said.

The expert drew attention to the fact that university dormitories in Türkiye will be provided for earthquake victims. “It is important that private university dormitories also join the process. This will quickly solve the problem. On the other hand, this will allow hotels to remain open to tourists during the season and the inflow of funds from tourism does not stop”, the expert emphasized.

On the other hand to stop the process of a sharp rise in prices for rental housing in Türkiye is possible only by state intervention, Mehmet Perinçek told RIA Novosti.

Türkiye’s rent price problem risks turning into a social crisis as government measures have been inadequate and prices have skyrocketed again due to migration caused by devastating earthquakes in the country’s southeast, the newspaper Dünya reported earlier on Thursday. Real estate experts expect a serious increase in rental prices across Türkiye due to earthquakes, especially in Istanbul. At the same time, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Süleyman Soylu, earlier called a sharp increase in rents for apartments in the country after this “a shame and a sin”.

“To stop the process of a sharp rise in prices for rental housing in Türkiye is possible only by state intervention. This has become a need. A policy of “freezing” prices or the introduction of a “price shelf” is possible, based on the location of the building and square meter. It is also possible to build a large number of social housing (TOKI) so that apartments are accessible to low-income segments of the population”, Perinçek said.

“The situation with TOKI has shown that government intervention in the economy brings results. I think this process needs to be continued”, he added.

Commenting on various actions to stop the sale and rental of housing to foreigners in Türkiye, the expert noted that they are unlikely to have an effect.

Mehmet Perinçek

Historian and political scientist (Türkiye)

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