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How community institutions in Turkey engage in disaster risk reduction: a case study of Istanbul and Antakya




Schilperoort, Liesel Mary, author
Peek, Lori, advisor
Taylor, Peter, committee member
Cavdar, Gamze, committee member

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This thesis explores how different community institutions - government, education, healthcare, business, and grassroots organizations - in Turkey engage in disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies and how each institution fosters a culture of resilience. The framework used to assess DRR engagement is the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), which is the structure of resilience and preparedness created by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). The goal of the research is to understand the ways that DRR is integrated into social institutions in Turkey, using the cities of Istanbul and Antakya as the primary case study communities. The analyses of 21 interviews, as well as supplemental respondent surveys, highlight primary themes informing how the five community institutions address seismic risk in Turkey. The current social organization of Turkey has key characteristics found in 'fatalistic' societies, or societies that are characteristically reactive. However, the ways community institutions engage in DRR illustrates that Turkey is determined to shift its DRR strategies from reactive to proactive. "A current state of unpreparedness" is how a respondent described the risk culture in Turkey today. Still, an examination of the data verifies that, despite the barriers, Turkey is beginning to develop a strong culture of resilience and gradually shifting toward a more 'self-reliant', proactive society.


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community institutions
disaster risk reduction
social organization


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