A traditional village house consists of sun-dried brick (adobe) or rough-hewn stone walls across which are laid timbers piled with brush and then topped with packed earth. The flat roof is often used for storage of feed grain. Floors are often bare earth covered with matting or lightweight carpets. Little furniture is used. Urban housing varies from houses similar to those in villages to modern, centrally heated apartment buildings.
From 1981 through 1985, 305,890 new residential buildings containing 929,104 apartments were completed. As of 1985, over 70% of all housing units were detached houses.
In 1999, major earthquakes in August and November left about 800,000 people homeless. The disasters brought to light the issues of substandard housing and illegal construction permits. The Turkish Chamber of Commerce estimated that about 65% of all buildings were built with illegal permits or below regulations, producing structures that are in no way suited to withstand the earthquakes to which Turkey is prone. International assistance has helped to rebuild and repair a number of homes.
The Collective Housing Administration Directorate, founded in 1984, had provided credit for over 1,125,889 residential construction projects between. The housing need has been estimated at 400,000 new dwellings per year.