Observatories And Their Importance In Case Of Earthquakes
Observatories are research areas established to observe all kinds of changes in space, to study stars, and to gather data about space in general. Because of light pollution in metropolises, celestial bodies in the sky cannot be observed, so observatories are built in high areas away from the city where population density and light pollution are the least. With the technological developments, more comprehensive research has started to be done in observatories and the equipment used has also improved: various seismographs, pendulum clocks that can operate under constant pressure… Thanks to seismographs, observatories started to make regular earthquake records.
The first observatory in the world was established in the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. Takiyüddin, who made various observations in the observatory called Dar-ü'r Rasad-ül Cedid, brought together the data he obtained in his work Ebsâr ve Nûr-i Hadikati el-Enzar.
Kandilli Observatory, which is one of the largest and most well-known observatories in Turkiye, continues its research on space and earth sciences. Information such as the effects of earthquakes in various parts of Turkiye and their epicenter is shared by the Kandilli Observatory.
They carry out various activities to spread awareness of earthquakes such as Afete Hazırlık Birimi (The Disaster Preparedness Unit) based on Afete Hazırlık Eğitim Projesi (The Disaster Preparedness Education Project), created one year after the 1999 Kocaeli Earthquake within the framework of a 5-year project fund provided by the United States Agency for International Development, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. The Disaster Preparedness Education Project was made permanent by establishing the Disaster Preparedness Education Unit on October 19, 2004 in order for the earthquake education and awareness programs for society to gain a permanent and sustainable quality. The main purpose of the activities being carried out since 2000 is to raise awareness and preparedness against possible destructive earthquakes that would affect Turkiye.
In Gezici Deprem Simülasyon Tırı (The Mobile Earthquake Simulation Truck), the team of experienced instructors explains earthquakes and ways of protection to public officials, students, and the public in the provinces visited.
Department of Earthquake Engineering is another example of Kandilli Observatory’s current studies. It was established in 1989 as a postgraduate education unit within the body of Boğaziçi University, Kandilli Observatory, and Earthquake Research Institute. Contributing to the creation of earthquake-resistant structures, systems, cities and the environment through education, research, and application activities is the general aim of the Department. At the same time, it is the first academic unit in Turkiye to provide postgraduate education in the field of Earthquake Engineering for Masters and Doctorate degrees. Earthquake Engineering can be defined as a multi-stage process that covers activities ranging from the identification of the earthquake source to the methods of earthquake risk reduction.
Although observatories are generally defined as the place where space studies are carried out, we should not ignore their extremely important work on earthquakes to inform ourselves and be aware of the current cases.