Damages of minarets during Ercis and Edremit Earthquakes, 2011 in Turkey

Bayraktar A., ALTUNIŞIK A. C., Muvafık M.

SMART STRUCTURES AND SYSTEMS, vol.14, no.3, pp.479-499, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.12989/sss.2014.14.3.479
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.479-499
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper illustrates the damages of reinforced concrete and masonry minarets during October 23 (Ercis) and November 9 (Edremit), 2011 Van earthquakes in Turkey. Ercis and Edremit are townships located 90km and 18km from Van city center in Turkey, respectively. Ground accelerations and response spectrums for these earthquakes are given in this paper. A total of 63 reinforced concrete and masonry minarets are heavily damaged or collapsed in the city center and villages nearby after both earthquakes. Because of the fact that there is no Turkish standard and specification directly related to design of minarets, nearly all of the constructions are carried out by workers using only their own technical knowledge. So, all of the non-engineering reinforced concrete and masonry minarets completely collapsed or damaged heavily. From the study, it is seen that the damages are due to several reasons such as site effect, location, and length of the fault, reduction in cross section and formation of the discontinuity, use of plain reinforcement steel, use of concrete with insufficient strength, existence of short lap splices and incorrect end hook angle, larger mass and stiffness concentrations on some region, longitudinal reinforcements discontinuity, cracks at the cylindrical body, and damage of spire and end ornament. In addition to these reasons, the two earthquakes hit the minarets within seventeen days, causing progressive damage. So, the existing design and construction practices should be improved to provide sufficient earthquake performance. Also, it is recommended that there should be a safe distance between the minaret and surrounding structures to reduce the loose of life after earthquake.