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Turkey hands over new houses to quake victims

Turkey hands over new houses to quake victims

Last year's devastating earthquake in eastern province of Elazig killed 41, injured 1,600

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday handed over the ownership of houses built by the government for quake victims -- a year after tremors jolted the country's east.

At the hand-over ceremony, he said that from now on they will build cities horizontally.

"Vertical architecture is suicide for us, especially in the earthquake zone," he said.

The earthquake last year in the Elazig province left 41 people dead and more than 1,600 others injured. The tremors were also felt in neighboring countries, including Georgia and Syria.

Erdogan added that the urban renewal of 1.5 million houses in Istanbul was completed in the last eight to nine years to ensure the safety of six million people.

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