Turkish Municipalities Show Interest for Trenchless Technology

Joint events between Turkish Society for Infrastructure and Trenchless Technology (TSITT) and Turkish municipalities are rapidly increasing in the area of trenchless technology.

TSITT signed an agreement with MBB (Union of Municipalities of the Marmara Region) on Aug. 5, 2010, which emphasizes collaboration between the two organizations for increased use of trenchless technologies in Turkey. MBB was founded in 1975 and is currently active in 11 cities — Istanbul, Balikesir, Bilecik, Bursa, Canakkale, Edirne, Kirklareli, Kocaeli, Sakarya, Tekirdag and Yalova — with a total population of more than 20 million people. Following the ceremony, Recep Altepe, president of MBB, joined TSITT as an honorary member.

On Feb. 22, 2011, a seminar titled “Recent Developments in Underground Infrastructure Construction and Trenchless Technology” was jointly organized by TSITT and MBB at the MBB Conference Center, in Istanbul, Turkey. Representatives from different municipalities in and around Istanbul attended the seminar. Zuver Cetinkaya, Manager of MBB and Yasin Torun, Chair of TSITT gave opening speeches. Then in their presentations Ahmet Gulec (Vice Chair of TSITT) and Mucahit Namli (Consultant for TSITT) discussed the benefits and current state of trenchless technologies in the world, and the need for increased use of these technologies in Turkey. The representatives of municipalities showed great interest for ISTT and its worldwide activities. No-Dig conferences and exhibitions were among the main topics during the seminar. It was announced that TSITT will be starting no-dig events in the near future.

On Aug. 17, 2010, an international workshop titled “Earthquake Effects on Underground Infrastructures, Management of Underground Infrastructures and Trenchless Technology” was held by TSITT in collaboration with CUIRE (Center for Underground Infrastructure Research and Education, UT at Arlington).
On Aug. 17, 1999, a powerful earthquake hit Turkey’s Marmara region, destroying the city of Istanbul, causing more than 17,000 deaths and 40,000 injuries. In the wake of this disaster, it is understood that Istanbul is prone to be hit by another major earthquake. To address these issues and the possible impacts of a future earthquake, TSITT held the international workshop at the IGDAS (Istanbul Natural Gas Distribution Company) Conference Center, in Istanbul. Attendees and speakers from TSITT, CUIRE, MBB, IGDAS, IBB (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality), ISKI (Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration), ADASU (Adapazari Water and Sewerage Administration), ISU (Izmit Water and Sewerage Administration), SU VAKFI (Turkish Water Foundation), ITU (Istanbul Technical University), AREL (Istanbul Arel University), FYFE Europe, BOREALIS Turkey/Europe discussed the possible earthquake effects on the underground infrastructure, management of underground infrastructure, and potential trenchless technologies to mitigate these effects.

Yasin Torun, Chair of TSITT and Dr. Zekai Sen, Professor and Chair of Turkish Water Foundation, gave opening speeches. CUIRE director Dr. Mohammad Najafi gave a presentation about recent developments on trenchless technologies for installation of new pipelines, as well as renewal and rehabilitation of old and deteriorated systems. The first session was titled “Trenchless Technologies in Turkey and in the World with Recent Developments” and included presentations by Dr. Fevzi Yilmaz (Professor, Istanbul Arel University), Dr. Mohammad Najafi (Director, CUIRE), Gunther Dreiling (Manager, Borealis Europe) and Umit Corbacioglu (Manager, Borealis Turkey). Speakers discussed the recent developments, research and applications regarding trenchless technologies in comparison with conventional (e.g. open-cut) methods.

The second session was titled “Earthquake Resistance in the Management of Underground Infrastructures and Trenchless Technologies” and included presentations by Dr. Rustem Keles (General Manager, ADASU), Fatih Yildiz (Manager, ISKI), Mustafa Yalcinkaya (Manager, IGDAS) and Dr. Ihsan Engin Bal (Expert, FYFE Europe). The speakers discussed the past earthquakes and their effects on the management of underground infrastructure in the Marmara region. Additionally, the participants discussed some of the recent projects and building a safe underground infrastructure with respect to earthquake loads.
Yasin Torun is chairman of TSITT – Turkish Society for Infrastructure and Trenchless Technology.

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