Turkey earthquake: More than 600 people investigated in relation to collapsed buildings – National

Investigations have been launched against more than 600 people in connection with buildings that collapsed in a devastating earthquake in Turkey earlier this month, government officials said Saturday.

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Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said 184 of the 612 suspects were imprisoned pending trial. Those detained include construction contractors, building owners or managers, he said in comments televised from the coordination center in Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey.

“Detecting evidence inside buildings continues to be the cornerstone of criminal investigations,” Bozdag added.

In the aftermath of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake on February 6 that killed nearly 48,000 people in southern Turkey and northern Syria, Turks have compromised the structural integrity of many of the 173,000 buildings that have collapsed or been severely damaged. questioning.

Experts say many of the collapsed structures were built with poor materials and methods and often do not comply with government standards. criticized for not implementing

The mayor of a town near the epicenter of the quake has been detained as part of an investigation into a collapsed building, Cumhuriyet newspaper and other news outlets reported on Saturday.

Click to play video: 'Turkey and Syria under new stress after two new quakes'

Turkey, Syria under new stress after two new quakes

Okkes Kavak, who heads the Nurdagi district of Gaziantep province and is a member of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), is said to have failed to confirm that a construction inspection had taken place.

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Turkey’s disaster management agency, AFAD, said 9,470 aftershocks hit the areas affected by the quake.

“Will this last forever? These aftershocks are expected to last for at least two years,” AFAD general manager Orhan Tatar said at a media briefing in Ankara. He said the 5.3-magnitude quake that struck Bor, a town about 150 miles (245 km) west of the epicenter on February 6, was thought to be “unrelated” to previous quakes. .

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