TURKEY — Following the catastrophic earthquakes that hit Turkey earlier this month, investigations have been launched against more than 600 individuals, as reported by Aljazeera.
Of over 600 suspects, 184 have been imprisoned pending trial, including construction contractors, building owners, and managers, according to Minister Bekir Bozdag’s televised comments from a coordination centre in Diyarbakir.
He added that the detection of evidence in the buildings continues as a basis for criminal investigation.
The earthquakes, measuring 7.8 and 7.6 magnitudes, respectively, resulted in more than 44,000 deaths in southern Turkey and over 5,500 deaths in northern Syria, raising concerns about the structural integrity of the 173,000 collapsed or damaged buildings. Opposition parties have accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration of failing to enforce building regulations, leading to the investigation of individuals involved in construction and property management.
The mayor of Nurdagi, Okkes Kavak, was detained as part of the investigation into collapsed buildings, as he reportedly failed to ensure construction inspections were carried out.
In another significant development, the mayor of Nurdagi, Okkes Kavak, was detained as part of the investigation into collapsed buildings, as he reportedly failed to ensure construction inspections were carried out. The district he heads is close to the earthquake’s epicentre, and the local media reported the arrest, adding further scrutiny to the authorities’ role in enforcing building regulations.
Turkey’s disaster management agency, AFAD, has reported that the region affected by the quake has experienced 9,470 aftershocks. AFAD General Manager Orhan Tatar stated in a media briefing in Ankara that “This will continue for a long time… we expect these aftershocks to last for at least two years.” Tatar added that a 5.3-magnitude quake that hit Bor, a town approximately 245km west of the February 6 epicentre, was considered “independent” of earlier earthquakes.