Dear Members of the Koç University Community,

We are all deeply saddened by the enormous devastation caused by caused by a series of severe earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş. All our thoughts continue to be with the millions of affected people in the region, including those who are among our own Koç University Community. This disaster has once again showed us the importance of earthquake preparedness, and we would like to inform you about the resistance status of our campus buildings against an earthquake and other efforts for disaster management at our university.

As per the Turkish Earthquake Code, issued according to Article 3 of the Law 7269 on Precautions and Relief Efforts for Disasters That Affect Public Life, and Articles 12 and 17 of the Law 5902 on the Establishment and Duties of the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, and effective as of January 1, 2019, earthquake code compliance assessment on all buildings owned by Koç University and/or used under rental/allocation agreements began in March 2020, and was completed as of September 30, 2022.

As a part of this assessment, a total of 89 buildings have undergone compliance evaluation, including:

  • 69 in Rumelifeneri Campus
  • 7 in West Campus
  • 6 in İstinye Campus
  • 3 ANAMED buildings
  • Taş Mektep
  • The Ottoman Summer School in Ayvalık

and 9 buildings were found to require reinforcement.

The Henry Ford Dormitory Building, the College of Administrative Sciences and Economics, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, College of Sciences, and Student Center buildings in the Rumelifeneri Campus, and blocks F, G and H and the Gym in the İstinye Campus were found to require reinforcement, and this work was completed during the 2022 summer period, where all buildings used by Koç University adhered to the latest earthquake code.

In addition to the safety of our buildings, an Emergency Operations Task Force was established in 2020 comprised of academic and senior administrative staff focused on coordinating the actions and response of the university to possible emergency and disaster circumstances. An Emergency Management Plan was issued to help the task force provide guidance and coordination in possible disasters and emergencies, and a slew of necessary actions were taken. Additionally, Evacuation Plans for all college, administrative and dormitory buildings were issued in 2022.

The details regarding our measures and precautions for possible emergencies are as follows:

  • An “Emergency and Disaster Management Center” is set up next to the ice-skating rink, equipped with modern facilities, to be utilized by the Emergency Operations Task Force.
  • Four disaster containers are available in the Rumelifeneri and West Campuses.
  • With aftershocks and possible damage to buildings in mind, four large field tents and four first aid tents are available for temporary accommodation should there be an earthquake. The ice-skating rink is also planned to be used for this purpose if required.
  • Seismic sensors and public announcement systems activated by these sensors have been installed in our college, administrative and dormitory buildings.
  • With low-magnitude earthquakes in mind, “earthquake buttons” which disable the turnstiles and card entrance systems have been installed in four locations in each of our dormitory buildings. This enables the occupants of the buildings to evacuate swiftly and assemble at the designated assembly areas in low-magnitude earthquakes as well.
  • Against a possible loss of internet connection, satellite internet facilities are set up at four locations in the Rumelifeneri and West Campuses.
  • 223 members of our university received a full-day theoretical and applied Emergency and Disaster Support Team training, and 55 people have been issued certified first aid identity cards. In the following days, Emergency and Disaster Support Team Training, Emergency Awareness Training, First Aid Training and Disaster and Emergency Drills will be held.
  • Koç University Search and Rescue Team (KUAK) has undergone a reorganization, and as the team grows, they are to also receive extra training and equipment.

Our Security and Fire Brigade teams and our Health Centers at the Rumelifeneri and West Campuses are on duty 24/7 throughout the week to ensure campus security, respond to possible fires, and provide health assistance.

Koç University Counseling Service (KURES) and Koç University Psychological Counseling and Psychotherapy Center (KUPTEM) are ready with their professional teams to respond to any possible situation where psychological support may be required after possible disasters.

Please click here to access the maps showing the assembly areas to be used in emergencies on our campuses, and the locations of the Emergency and Disaster Management Center and the disaster containers.

Please bear in mind that our present and future efforts continue to focus on ensuring the health and safety of our community of students, faculty, and staff.

With regards,

Office of the General Secretary