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The First Geography Congress, which was convened in Ankara in 1941, at the conclusion of the research that had continued for a long time, separated Turkey into seven geographical regions.

During the congress activities, the fact that Turkey is surrounded by sea on three sides, the presence of mountain ranges lying parallel to the length of the long coastline, the fact that these mountains separate the high, but slightly steep and uneven central section from the influence of the sea and because of this, factors such as the climate, natural plant cover and the distribution of types of agriculture, and the influences of these on the transportation systems and the types of housing between the coastal strip and the central sections, had been taken into consideration and it was possible to divide Turkey into four border and three inner regions.

The first four of the seven regions determined were given the names of the seas which are adjacent to them (the Black Sea, the Marmara, the Aegean and the Mediterranean Regions). The other three regions were named in accordance with their location in the whole of Anatolia (Central, Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia Regions). Turkey is located in the Alpine-Himalayas zone which is one of the substantial earthquake lines of the world.

Turkey has a number of active faults, notably the North Anatolian fault which runs throughout the country. In the last century, seven big quakes have occurred on the North Anatolian fault, beginning with Erzincan in 1939 and following a constant route from east to west along the faults.

The last one, the Marmara earthquake on 17 August 1999, of which the epicenter was the city of Izmit, measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale, took place in the eastern Marmara region on the North Anatolian fault. This quake, characterized as the "disaster of the century", was the biggest one in Turkish history after the Erzincan earthquake of 1939.

The Marmara earthquake occurred in a large area of Turkey�s most densely populated region, bringing death and destruction especially to Izmit, Yalova, Sakarya, Bolu provinces and the outskirts of Istanbul and severely affected many other neighboring provinces such as Bursa, Eskisehir and Zonguldak.

In this earthquake, where over 15,000 people lost their lives, more than 25,000 buildings were destroyed and about 200,000 houses and workplaces were damaged. The Turkish government, which went into action immediately after the quake, allocated all its resources to overcome the problems of this enormous tragedy.

A total of 83 countries including Germany, Israel, Greece and Russia in the first place, sent rescue, medical and firefighting teams to assist the local effort and also various aid materials. Campaigns for donation were initiated by either official or civil communities and societies in several countries as well as in Turkey, with the objective of helping people who faced disaster. This international solidarity and sensitivity in the aftermath of the Marmara earthquake were accepted by all the Turkish people with a sentiment of appreciation and gratitude.