Turkey Launches Investigations Against More Than 600 Suspects Related To Collapsed Buildings Following Earthquake

By Brianna Theophile, @itsbriannat

A powerful earthquake at a devastating magnitude of 7.8 hit the country of Turkey, officially The Republic of Türkiye, in the southeastern region as well as northwest Syria earlier this month on February 6th.

Additionally, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey yet again on February 20th. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), numerous aftershocks hitting the thousands have plagued the region since the first earthquake.

Orhan Tatar, the General Manager of Turkey’s disaster management agency (AFAD), says, “This will continue for a long time… we expect these aftershocks to last for at least two years.”There is still no final death toll, as the number continues to rise above 50,000 daily as search and rescue teams continue to recover survivors and bodies still trapped under the rubble.

Reports say that there are over 87,000 injuries. More than 600 people have been investigated in relation to the 173,000 buildings that collapsed or sustained serious damage due to the earthquakes. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag says that 184 of these suspects have been detained as the structural integrity of these beings is being questioned.

Those detained include construction contractors, building owners or managers, and the mayor of the Nurdagi district which is a town close to the earthquake’s epicenter. The President’s administration has also been accused of failing to enforce building regulations.

According to experts, many fallen buildings and structures were built with inferior materials and
in ways that failed to meet government standards.