In this present study, an earthquake resistant social housing model in Istanbul will be presented. For a better understanding of this subject, the reader will be given some brief insights into several aspects of the earthquake subject. Furthermore, fundamental aspects of the Turkish architectural culture and its history are pointed out. Within the framework of this work, earthquake-resistant buildings, their planning and vehement meaning in construction industry are described. The present work should, on the one hand, give insight into the Turkish architectural culture and its development and, on the other hand, illustrate the earthquake performance and economic viability of social residential building. Three different structures are designed, approved by the municipality in Istanbul and tested for their seismic performance. One of these fictitious buildings is designed according to the Turkish architectural manner. The other two buildings serve to potentially increase earthquake performance. The comparison of these objects according to their seismic performance and the costs of their shell construction, shows that the performance can be increased by a small increase in the construction cost of a m2. Earthquake forces are compensated with large deformations of the reinforced- concrete skeleton construction without shear walls. These deformations present a serious danger to the infilling masonry and to damage limitation.