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President of Religious Affairs Erbaş receives Disaster Training 29 June 2018

President of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş visited the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) training center and received Basic Disaster Awareness Training from expert trainers.

Prof. Dr. Erbaş, Vice Presidents of Diyanet and some bureaucrats participated in the “Basic Disaster Awareness Training” and experienced a 20 second long earthquake simulation measuring 6 on the Richter scale.

Head of AFAD Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu gave information about AFAD’s activities within the context of “Basic Disaster Awareness Training” enhanced with interactive activities, basic disaster definitions, types of disasters, behavior stereotypes before and after disasters and disaster awareness.

Erbaş, said during his speech that disaster awareness is an important part of training adding that, “Our country is facing many disaster risks especially the earthquake risk. Time and place of disasters cannot be known. It is possible to know when an earthquake will take place”.

Noting that he had lived in the earthquake zone Sakarya for many years, President of Diyanet Erbaş stressed that he was aware of the importance of earthquake training.

"Diyanet and AFAD may conduct joint projects in all cities of the country in order to offer awareness training about earthquakes, fire, floods and other types of disasters to our people and nation,” said Erbaş.

Cooperation between Diyanet and AFAD

Citing a verse from the Quran, Erbaş underlined that Allah has warned human beings not to put themselves into jeopardy and went on to say the following:

"What is danger? It means not taking necessary measures. Damages of disaster decrease as long as we take measures and increase our capacity of taking measures. We are informing people about disasters but we have to offer more information. We have the chance to reach millions of people via preaches and khutbah. In cooperation with AFAD, we will do our best to fulfill our mission in order to keep our people and nation safe in times of disasters and urge them to take measures.

Number of AFADEMs to increase

Meanwhile, Head of AFAD Güllüoğlu thanked Erbaş for accepting his invitation and said, “Before cooperation between state offices, maybe it is necessary for each person to change his attitude regarding disasters. Diyanet and AFAD will boost their cooperation and reach a majority of the society to induce measurement and prevention culture.”

Noting that AFAD Training Centers are located in Ankara, İstanbul and Bursa and they are aiming at increasing the number of training centers, Güllüoğlu stated, “Our contacts with TÜBİTAK continue. We went to establish a disaster corner in every scientific research center in order to reach various different fragments of the society. We are working on projects in different parts of Turkey to raise awareness about disasters and encourage behavior change.

"Training alone is not enough"

Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu said AFAD has been conducting projects in order to measure and evaluate how information provided during the training is reflected into behavior and added:

"Training alone is not enough. There is also the need of changing behavior. For example, almost everybody knows smoking is dangerous for health. But, breaking smoking habits is changing a behavior. Due to this reason, we have to continue offering raising awareness trainings as well as working in an effort to measure the reflection of these trainings.”

Deputy Vice Presidents of Diyanet Ramazan Muslu, Burhan İşleyen and Osman Tıraşçı, Supreme Board of Religious Affairs Chairman Ekrem Keleş, Undersecretary of Diyanet Mustafa Karataş and Recitation Council Chairman Hafız Osman Şahin participated in the training.

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