A ceremony yesterday at the Istanbul Governorship headquarters put the plan into motion. The ceremony was attended by the World Bank's Turkey Director, Andrew Vorkink, as well as the Treasury Ministry's Foreign Economy Relations head, Aslan Akcay. Speaking in Turkish at the ceremony, Vorkink said "If an earthquake similar to the one in the Marmara region in 1999 occurs in Istanbul, the social, economic, and environmental effects on people will be even greater. Istanbul hold the importance of the joining of two continents. This project is the largest one every carried out by the World Bank in order to reduce risks prior to a disaster, rather than waiting until after a disaster to re-build."