The last two earthquakes in Marmara have been catastrophic disasters beyond all limits of perception. On 17 August 1999, there were I million people trapped under debris, eighteen thousand people had lost their lives, and hundreds of thousands had been evacuated from their homes. Roads had buckled and bridges had fallen down. On 12 November 1999 another earthquake hit Duzce. This earthquake also caused high casualties. There were 894 deaths and 4,948 injuries. Both of the disasters had social, technical, administrative, legal, economical as well as environmental consequences. This paper presents a brief overview of these earthquakes in terms of the six aspects mentioned. above. Disaster management practices are also investigated. The authors are of the opinion that it is not only the buildings but also poor disaster management before, during, and after the disaster that kill people in severe earthquakes. The present disaster management system of Turkey is compared against professional standards of the United States and Japan. The authors systematically document where performance failed and offer, proposals for change within the Turkish disaster management system.