Earthquakes that occurred on August 17, 1999 in Kocaeli and November 12, 1999 in Düzce were the most devastating disasters which deeply affected whole Marmara Region from both economical and social point of view. These earthquakes affected more than 20 million people in the Marmara Region, causing more than 18,000 people lose their lives and billions of dollars of economic loss in the Turkish economy.

The year of 2009 is the decennial commemoration of the said earthquakes. In that sense, Kocaeli University and Turkish Red Crescent have unified their experience and power in order to organize the ‘DISASTER OF TURKEY: 10th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION WEEK’. Kocaeli University and Turkish Red Crescent have decided to share their knowledge for organizing the symposium and the decennial commemoration events together, since they have learned a lot of lessons from the earthquakes of 1999 and others.   

Kocaeli University and Turkish Red Crescent, at the Umuttepe Campus of the Culture and Congress Center of Prof. Dr. Baki Komsuoglu, will host ‘International Earthquake Symposium Kocaeli 2009’ together with symposium activities and commemoration events on August 17-19, 2009.

The goal of the Symposium is to provide an international forum and panels for scientists and researchers all around the world to present their latest works and to commemorate the 1999 Earthquakes on their 10th Anniversary. The Symposium will focus on a broad range of disciplines, techniques, and methods which include earth, engineering, architectural and environmental, social, and medical sciences to review what has been learnt from these earthquakes, what has been done over the past 10 years and what can be done for further preparedness.

The main philosophy of biennial earthquake symposium organized by Kocaeli University of Earth and Space Sciences Research Center (YUBAM) is to create and provide such an atmosphere in which all scientists around the world come together and share their knowledge about their subjects that are related to earthquakes such as geophysics, geology, geodesy, civil, earthquake, chemistry, industry, mechanic, electronics, environmental engineering, architecture, medicine, psychology, law, economics, communications, philosophy, sociology and other related branches. In addition, one of the aims of the symposium is to bring, local authorities, government officials, civil defense, fire department, rescue teams, media and NGOs together at various panels and sessions to discuss, learn and share their ideas, research, and opinions about earthquakes. All in all, the subject of earthquakes will be discussed with all aspects relating the society and all available information to be gathered from each other will be shared as much as possible.

This year, we will organize the forth earthquake symposium called ‘International Earthquake Symposium 2009’. Due to the decennial commemoration of 1999 Earthquakes, the forthcoming symposium is likely to attract much attention than the previous ones since it will be the time to evaluate what have been done so far since August 17, 1999. Discussions and future plans about earthquakes will be the topic of the symposium as well, with respect to not only promises, but also in practical sense. We are pleased to invite all academicians, directors, and researchers to the symposium and the events of decennial commemoration. We would like to request from you to encourage your students, employees, and staff members to the symposium not only to share their experience with their colleagues, but to discuss what the future step should be.

We look forward to seeing you at the International Earthquake Symposium 2009’ and events of decennial commemoration.  

 Sincerely yours,

Organizing Committee