Turkish Authorities are Investigating over 600 People for the Destroyed Buildings after the Earthquakes
Turkish authorities have opened investigations against 600 people in connection with the buildings that collapsed in the catastrophic earthquakes in southern Turkey earlier this month, the Associated Press reported, citing Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag.
The minister announced that 184 out of a total of 612 suspects were detained awaiting trial. Those detained include construction contractors and building owners, Bozdag said from a coordination center in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey. "The discovery of evidence in the buildings continues as a basis for a criminal investigation," Bozdag added.
More than 170,000 buildings collapsed or were severely damaged in the February 6 earthquakes of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6, which killed tens of thousands of people in southern Turkey and northern Syria.
Experts claim that many of the collapsed buildings were built with substandard materials and methods that did not meet state standards. Opposition parties accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government of failing to enforce building regulations.
Among those detained is the mayor of the city of Nurdagi, one of the places most affected by the earthquakes, who allegedly did not ensure that construction inspections were carried out.
Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) reported that 9,470 aftershocks occurred in the area affected by the earthquakes. “We expect these aftershocks to continue for at least two years,” AFAD Director General Orhan Tatar told journalists in Ankara. He said today's 5.3-magnitude earthquake, which struck the area of Bor, a town about 245 km west of the epicenter on February 6, was considered "separate" from the previous tremors.
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