Türkiye Goes After Contractors: Over 160 People Are Under Investigation

As the death toll from last week’s devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in southeastern Türkiye near the Syria border continues to climb into the tens of thousands, Turkish authorities have taken action and arrested or detained various contractors. SAKOM has reported 31,643 fatalities in Türkiye alone, while Syrian state media reports that 4,574 citizens have perished due to this seismic event.

Türkiye Government Blames Contractors

As emergency responders race against time, desperately trying to rescue those still trapped beneath the debris in Türkiye, the volunteer group White Helmets announced that search and recovery operations have now concluded in northwest Syria. Amidst the tragedy and grief of families who have lost their loved ones due to this disaster, resentment has been brewing among those affected as they seek justice for what happened.

In light of the rising public ire, authorities in Türkiye have launched an investigation into 163 people for their alleged involvement with building collapses. Out of those implicated, Anadolu Agency has reported that eight were arrested, and police forces presently hold 48.

Eight contractors were detained and placed on trial in accordance with the public prosecutors’ decisions, as reported by Anadolu. No additional information was released about their investigation charges. During his visit to Diyarbakir earlier this week, Türkiye’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag declared that all earthquake-struck areas would have judicial investigations launched from their respective Public Prosecutor’s Offices.

According to Bozdag, the municipalities possess knowledge of the ages of various buildings located in their area; some have been constructed within the past 30 years, while others are far older. The audits conducted on these structures use this information as a basis, and prosecutors survey them to pin down any potential suspects responsible for construction-related activities.

Türkiye Goes After Contractors: Over 160 People Are Under Investigation

Türkiye’s Laws Are Strict Enough, But Inspection Seems Insufficient

After previous tragedies, the government promised to strengthen building codes so that modern buildings could better withstand powerful earthquakes. However, when tragedy struck again, many buildings which had been recently built were among those damaged. As a result of this inconsistency between policy and reality, citizens and authorities are questioning whether or not the government took sufficient steps to enforce its own regulations on the construction industry.

Yasemin Didem Aktas, a structural engineer and lecturer at University College London, emphatically pointed out that “what we are seeing here is telling us something has gone awry in those buildings.” Whether it be the initial design not being compliant with regulations or an imperfect execution of the ideas, further compounded by post-occupancy changes made to these structures compromising their safety—the issues behind Türkiye’s architecture stand clear.

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Emma Horvath

After graduating Communication and Media Studies MA in Eötvös Loránd University, Emma started to realize that her childhood dream as a creative news reporter committed to find dynamic journalism stories. I'm a passionate journalist with a keen interest in the fast-evolving world of cryptocurrencies. I've been reporting on the latest developments in the crypto industry for several years now, covering breaking news and providing insights on how the market is trending. I'm adept at analyzing daily market movements, researching ICOs, and keeping track of the latest innovations in blockchain technology. My expertise in the space makes her a trusted voice in the crypto community. Whether it's the latest Bitcoin price movements or the launch of a new DeFi platform, I am always at the forefront, bringing her readers the most up-to-date and informative news.

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