Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency

The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (Turkish: Afet ve Acil Durum Yönetimi Başkanlığı, also abbreviated as AFAD)[1] is a governmental disaster management agency operating under the Turkish Ministry of Interior. The organisation was established in 2009 to take necessary measures for effective emergency management and civil protection nationwide in Turkey. The presidency conducts pre-incident work, such as preparedness, mitigation and risk management, during-incident work such as response, and post-incident work such as recovery and reconstruction. AFAD reports to the Turkish Ministry of Interior.

Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency
Afet ve Acil Durum Yönetimi Başkanlığı (AFAD)
Agency overview
JurisdictionGovernment of Turkey
HeadquartersDumlupinar Bulvari No. 159 / Çankaya / Ankara
Annual budget₺993.414.000
Agency executive

Amongst the governmental, NGO and private institutions, the presidency provides coordination, formulates policies and implements policies.

In a disaster and emergency, the AFAD is the sole responsible state-run organization.[citation needed]


An AFAD rescue vehicle

Two consecutive major earthquakes in 1999, the 1999 İzmit earthquake and the 1999 Düzce earthquake, became the turning point in disaster management in Turkey. These earthquakes put pre-disaster planning and preparation on the agenda of the government and the general population of the country.

At that time, Turkey's Disaster Management System was mainly focused on the post-disaster period, and there were no incentives or legislation to encourage risk analysis or risk reduction approaches before earthquakes occur. Both the academic and the technical authorities agreed that the country had a pressing need to develop pre-disaster precautions, and that would require both updated legislation and administrative restructuring.

The AFAD was established in 2009 during the Government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.[2] By the Act No. 5902 dated May 29, 2009 and Establishment of Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency; General Directorate of Turkey Emergency Management under Prime Ministry, General Directorate of Civil Defence under Ministry of Interior, General Directorate of Disaster Affairs under Ministry of Public Works and Settlement were closed. Three core institutions have unified under a single independent authority with the act adopted by the Parliament and entered into force in June, 2009. The new institution was named Afet ve Acil Durum Yönetimi Başkanlığı (Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency) or AFAD.

After the 2017 constitutional referendum and the subsequent 2018 presidential election AFAD has started to operate under the Turkish Ministry of Interior.[3] In 2018, the institution was involved in the established of nine schools in the Syrian territory occupied by Turkey.[4] Following the earthquake of February 2023, the AFAD was involved in rescuing the affected population.[5]



AFAD is made of four councils: Disaster and Emergency Supreme Council Disaster and Emergency Coordination Committee Earthquake Advisory Council Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense Council.

Service units

  • Planning and Harm Reduction Department
  • Intervention Department
  • Improvement Department
  • Civil Defense Department
  • Earthquake Department Directorate
  • Personnel and Support Services Department
  • Information Systems and Communication Department
  • Strategy Development Department
  • Volunteer and Donor Relations Department
  • Foreign Affairs and International Humanitarian Aid Department
  • Education Department
  • CBRN defense Department[6]
Director Beginning of Duty Completion of Task
1 Hasan IPEK 16 July 2009 2 January 2010
2 Mehmet Ersoy 2 January 2010 9 March 2011
3 İbrahim Ejder Kaya (vekil) 10 March 2011 2 January 2012
4 Fuat Oktay 2 January 2012 18 June 2016
5 Mehmet Halis Bilden 29 June 2016 5 August 2017
6 Mehmet Güllüoğlu 5 August 2017 11 September 2021
7 Yunus Sezer 11 September 2021[7] Incumbent



Kilis refugee camp


The Killis refugee camp, run by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, featured in a 13 February 2014 article in The New York Times titled "How to Build a Perfect Refugee Camp". The camp is staffed by Turkish government employees, rather than by NGOs. It is hoped that the 14,000 refugees of the Syrian Civil War benefiting from the clean, well organized facility will eventually "go home and become grand ambassadors of Turkey."[8]

Mohamed Morsi orphanage


In October 2020, more than a year later after the death of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Turkish aid agencies established the "Mohamed Morsi Orphanage" in Idlib, Syria.[9] The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency opened the orphanage in Idlib's Mashhad Rouhin district, in collaboration with Ozgur-Deir and Fetihder Associations. It will house orphaned children and their families in the city.[10]



2023 earthquake


AFAD has been criticized on the grounds of claimed slowness to react and inadequate help during the first days of the 2023 Turkey–Syria earthquake. Emergency management academic Kubilay Kaptan has stated that the delayed reaction of AFAD was mainly caused by the increasing centralization of Turkish emergency response agencies under the current government. According to Kaptan numerous relief agencies had been merged into AFAD in the past years and since the implementation of the referandum AFAD had become part of the Ministry of Interior, losing its autonomy and self-governance. According to Kaptan the Ministry of Interior making the decisions hindered a fast relief response since the organisation need to get an approval for its actions, contrasting more independent agencies like FEMA.[11]

Unqualified staff and nepotism claims


AFAD has been criticized on the claims of inappropriate board of management, since some members of the board do not have any disaster management background. İsmail Palakoğlu, the general manager of disaster response subdivision of AFAD being a theologian who previously worked at the Directorate of Religious Affairs was criticized by several politicians and media outlets.[12][13][14] Some of the provincial presidents of AFAD such as Necati Oruk (Ağrı), Bayram Şahin (Balıkesir), Adil Arslan (Bayburt), Resul Karadeniz (Hakkari), Mehmet Emin Koçan (Kocaeli) and Recep Erol (Tekirdağ) being graduates of imam hatip schools were also criticised.[15]

AFAD has been criticised for claimed nepotism in its managing positions. A significant part of the AFAD's key positions on the provincial level were given to relatives of several AKP politicians such as Süleyman Soylu, Murat Kurum, Ahmet Minder and Ahmet Aydın.[15]


  1. ^ AFAD's website in English Archived November 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine reviewed in 10.11.2011
  2. ^ MacDonald, Alex. "Turkish rock star's charity earthquake appeal provokes donations spat". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 2023-02-18.
  3. ^ "Afad ve Tarihçesi". afad.com.
  4. ^ en.afad.gov.tr https://en.afad.gov.tr/9-new-schools-opened-in-the-euphrates-shield-region. Retrieved 2023-02-18. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Lack of expertise of top AFAD official overseeing earthquake rescue operations draws ire". Gazete Duvar (in Turkish). 2023-09-02. Retrieved 2023-02-18.
  6. ^ "AFAD KBRN Uzmanları". www.afad.gov.tr. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  7. ^ en.afad.gov.tr https://en.afad.gov.tr/head-of-afad. Retrieved 2023-02-18. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ McClelland, Mac (2014-02-13). "How to Build a Perfect Refugee Camp". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  9. ^ "Turkey establishes orphanage in Syria named after Egypt's Morsi - report". Ahval. 23 October 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Turkish aid agencies establish 'Mohamed Morsi Orphanage' in Syria's Idlib". Middle East Monitor. 22 October 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  11. ^ "AFAD büyük bir depreme ne kadar hazırdı? – DW – 08.02.2023". dw.com (in Turkish). Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  12. ^ Akkaş, Simge. "Afetlere Müdahale Genel Müdürü İsmail Palakoğlu İlahiyat Fakültesi Mezunu | Doğruluk Payı". www.dogrulukpayi.com (in Turkish). Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  13. ^ odatv4.com (10 February 2023). "Eski AFAD Başkanı geri çağrıldı... İYİ Parti'nin başlattığı tartışma akla geldi". www.odatv4.com. Retrieved 2023-02-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "AFAD müdürü İsmail Palakoğlu'nun özgeçmişi 'göz kamaştırdı' - Diken". www.diken.com.tr (in Turkish). 2023-02-09. Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  15. ^ a b "AFAD akraba çiftliği olmuş". www.sozcu.com.tr (in Turkish). 21 February 2023. Retrieved 2023-02-21.