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Tech firms join push to resolve post-quake employment, shelter issues

Tech ventures are leveraging their expertise in remote work, software development, and data-driven habits to create solutions to eliminate the negative impact of the devastating earthquakes that struck southeastern region.

Türkiye is relying on technology companies as it tries to cope with big challenges from the recent earthquakes that flattened a swathe of towns and cities in its southeastern region, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

The startup ecosystem is engaged in efforts to address the problems that require rapid solutions, spearheaded by shelter, employment and education.

The massive Feb. 6 quakes, centered in southern Kahramanmaraş province, have left at least 41,156 people killed in Türkiye. Authorities said more than 110,000 buildings across 11 quake-hit provinces were either destroyed or so severely damaged that they need to be torn down.

Various organizations and companies have come forward to provide support and solutions to the affected communities.

The real estate websites emlakJet, and hepsiemlak have undertaken a role to serve as a bridge and receive housing-related applications to help cope with issues regarding accommodation. On the other hand, the online recruitment platform is addressing employment and efforts to guide job seekers and volunteers.

Startups in the technology industry have been exploring remote work opportunities and data-driven solutions to address employment needs that have arisen in the aftermath of the earthquakes.

Meanwhile, small businesses in the affected areas have turned to electronic marketplaces to sell their products, and consumers are being encouraged to shop with local farmers and tradespeople to support and help revive the region’s economy.

The government and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), firms and civil society groups have also been active in efforts to help the affected communities, including finding alternative production facilities and providing training opportunities for workers.

The Ministry of Industry and Technology, Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBİTAK), the Small and Medium Enterprises Development and Support Administration (KOSGEB) and Technoparks are promoting the benefits of remote work, while chambers of commerce in heavily impacted cities are working together to revive trade. Furthermore, idle factories and workshops are being made available to provide alternatives for production.

Software and gaming sector

The ability to work remotely, combined with education, provides an opportunity for software and gaming startups to transform their existing workforce.

The work of the Open Software Network has also come under the spotlight, aimed at bringing together open-source programmers to develop software solutions to support earthquake relief efforts.

The platform aims to provide significant contributions in terms of human resources.

Elaborating on the Open Software Network on his personal blog, technical generalist Eser Özvataf summarizes the contributions of 23,950 developers to the platform.

"We first started with As new ideas came in, we evaluated the projects that came in like an open-source software foundation (Apache Foundation, CloudNative Computing Foundation, Free Software Foundation, Linux Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, etc.), and tried to form volunteer teams to overcome obstacles in their progress,” Özvataf noted.

“We are working on a project list, and our internal processes will be much more organized in the near future. However, for now, you can view the "ready-to-publish" projects at,” he added.

Support for shelter problem

Shelter has been one of the most significant issues as the earthquakes left hundreds of thousands of people homeless in the middle of winter.

To address this, the “Evim Yuvan Olsun” (Let my home be your home) campaign has been launched to help earthquake victims by matching them with empty or unused homes that have been made available by the public.

People can offer their homes to earthquake victims free of charge or at reduced rental rates. Applications can be made via the campaign's website, which has been set up to provide a reliable and secure application process.

People willing to open their empty houses to quake survivors can send applications that will be examined on-site by respective district governor’s offices.

Real estate initiatives</