AbstractThe quality of the building stocks of most Middle Eastern countries is affected by earthquakes produced by the East Anatolian fault. On January 24, 2020, a medium-magnitude earthquake struck the Elazığ Province in eastern Turkey. The observed damage to structures was found to be excessive because of the poor-quality building stock of the region. In this study, the seismic behavior of the building stock of Elazığ after the January 24, 2020, Sivrice earthquake was discussed in detail. The reader was first provided with some insight regarding the Elazığ province. Next, the seismic behavior of the region and past earthquakes that occurred were examined to highlight the high seismicity of the region. Further, strong ground motion parameters and the hazards of the region were evaluated in detail, and the results of the reconnaissance studies were presented. Then, the reasons for the observed damage considering reinforced concrete and masonry structures were presented, and the field applications and past construction techniques were compared with the recent regulations established in 2018. Finally, rebuilding and resettlement activities after the earthquake were discussed in detail. From this study, it was found that the damages of structures in an earthquake-affected area can be attributed primarily to the design stage and improper control mechanisms employed during construction. Based on field investigations, poor-quality civil engineering applications on both reinforced concrete and masonry buildings were found to be fundamental factors that affected the seismic behavior of the considered structures. Rural regions were found to suffer extensive damage after the earthquake. The results suggest that excessive loss could have been prevented if required care were given to the construction practice. This study is expected to help improve the understanding regarding the seismic behavior of low-quality structures, and it is expected to encourage developments that will help enhance the seismic capacity of existing buildings in the region.