ISTANBUL, Turkey, May 11 (UPI) -- Turkey's prime minister says two satellite settlements planned near Istanbul will provide safer housing for city residents living in earthquake danger zones.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the "two new cities" to be developed under the auspices of his ruling Justice and Development Party would also provide better access to services and reduce traffic congestion within Istanbul, Hurriyet reported Wednesday.
Moving to the new settlements would be completely voluntary, Erdogan said.
Istanbul is located near the North Anatolian fault line, one of the most active seismic zones in the world.
Erdogan said one of the new communities would be built along the Black Sea coast on the European side of the Bosphorus Straight while the other would be built on the Anatolian side, Today's Zaman reported. The exact locations were not provided.
"We will build these cities with urban transformation and quake preparation in mind," Erdogan said.
Though Erdogan's party is using the term "two cities" for the plan, the proposed settlements would be built as new extensions of Istanbul rather separate cities, Erdogan said.