Earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria

84,000 buildings seriously damaged or collapsed in the earthquakes-hit areas in Turkiye

by teleSUR

Authorities are investigating businessmen who would have criminal responsibilities in the poor construction of buildings that were destroyed by the earthquakes.

On Friday, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag announced that the Turkish authorities are investigating 245 people suspected of having criminal responsibilities in the collapse of buildings during the earthquakes that took place on February 6.

Currently, 54 citizens are in pretrial detention, 47 people remain “free under judicial control,” and 27 citizens have been provisionally detained, according to local outlets.

Most of the detainees are construction businessmen, contractors, architects, engineers, and public inspectors. There are also owners who are being investigated for having made unauthorized modifications to the structures of their buildings.

After concluding a technical inspection in the earthquakes-affected areas, Urban Planning Minister Murat Kurum announced that 84,000 out of 684,000 buildings are seriously damaged or collapsed and must be urgently demolished.

The tweet reads, “It is appalling to see this drone video showing destroyed and damaged buildings in Hatay, a Turkish province affected by the earthquake. Over 35,000 people died.”

Social networks denounced that many of the collapsed buildings housed supermarkets or banks on the ground floor, where load-bearing walls had been demolished.

The risk of poor construction in buildings was amplified in 2018, when the Turkish government passed a regulation to legalize dwellings that had been built illegally or lacked certain permits.

The Urbanism Ministry explained that such decision sought to put an end to everyday problems experienced by people who had not been able to access basic services for years because they lived in unauthorized buildings.

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