Only 31% of the 3.27m residences in 817,339 buildings built in Istanbul before 2000 have earthquake insurance, says Mr Sinan Turkkan, president of Earthquake Retrofit Association (DEGUDER).
He told Anadolu Agency, "In other words, more than two of three residences aged 20 years and above in the city do not have insurance against earthquakes and disasters. In a city such as Istanbul, where there is a possibility of an earthquake and where we have to live with the reality of earthquakes, the rate is very, very low."
Referring to the total number of homes throughout Istanbul (including those built after 2000), Mr Turkkan said, "Only about 2.4m of the 4.7m households in the city have this insurance policy. It seems that very new buildings have earthquake insurance. Even more seriously, only 5% of these buildings have been reinforced [to withstand quakes]."
Mr Turkkan's comments were made a fortnight ahead of the 21st anniversary of the 1999 Izmit earthquake (also known as the Marmara earthquake).
The inadequate quake insurance situation in Turkey is despite the fact that quake insurance is compulsory. The mandatory earthquake insurance scheme was launched in September 2000 following the magnitude 7.6 Izmit quake which occurred on 17 August and killed around 17,000 people.