Istanbul, a city under tight surveillance

Year : 2001
52 min
Directed by Hervé Martin-Delpierre
An AT-Doc / RTBF / Arte France / C.N.R.S. coproduction.

Turkey is regularly hit by violent earthquakes such as the August 17, 1999 in Gölcük who made tens of thousands dead. The Arabian tectonic plate slowly rises and pushes northward Anatolia into Eurasia. Experts say the city is severely threatened by an earthquake that would occur within the next thirty years ...

How do the scientists, authorities and residents deal with this huge disaster waiting to happen? This is the subject of this document built as a social and scientific investigation carried out from many accounts, computer graphics and television archives in Turkey.

The twelve million inhabitants of the economic capital of Turkey live in fear, still traumatized by the 1999 earthquake. While some rely fatalistically to the will of Allah, others prepare for their potential in spite of immense difficulties in the economic crisis. According to scientific estimates, most buildings in Istanbul will not withstand the next earthquake. The casualties are likely to be enormous because more than half the population live in dwellings that are beyond all regulations and all safety standards.

The document is damning and highlights the flaws of a society, such as the refusal of authorities to conduct a long-term policy to avoid the worst. Faced with a government that regards risk prevention in ninety-fifth of its priorities, volunteers take action ... Thrilling!