Turkey Investigating Over 130 People Over Building Collapses
On Sunday, Turkish authorities announced that they would investigate 131 people who could potentially be held responsible for the collapse of buildings in Turkey's devastating earthquakes last week. Of the reported suspects, authorities said that they ordered the detention of 113....
- On Sunday, Turkish authorities announced that they would investigate 131 people who could potentially be held responsible for the collapse of buildings in Turkey's devastating earthquakes last week. Of the reported suspects, authorities said that they ordered the detention of 113.1
- Twelve people, including building contractors, have already been taken into custody as of Sunday night. With 33K dead in Turkey alone, the public is demanding answers as to why so many buildings collapsed as suspicions regarding building code violations continue to grow.2
- Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Sunday that “We will follow this up meticulously until the necessary judicial process is concluded, especially for buildings that suffered heavy damage and caused deaths and injuries,' as investigators have been deployed to the 10 affected provinces.3
- The lawyer of one of the contractors who was arrested suggested that his client was being used as a scapegoat by the government. The government agency tasked with regulation enforcement reported in 2019 that over half of all buildings in Turkey were not in compliance with building codes.4
- Critics of Turkish Pres. Erdoğan and his government have also adopted the view that local and state officials are to blame for the destruction. Turkey is holding parliamentary and presidential elections in May.5
- The government has acknowledged that the initial response was hampered by the extensive damage, with the worst-affected area reportedly being 310 miles (500 km) in diameter and home to about 13.5M people.6
Sources: 1Reuters, 2BBC News, 3Guardian, 4Associated Press, 5The hill and 6Al Jazeera.
- Narrative A, as provided by Daily sabah. The Turkish government is doing everything that it can to hold corrupt developers, officials, and contractors accountable. For too long, contractors and building companies have cut corners, leading to thousands of deaths in this horrific tragedy. The government's investigation will be as thorough as possible, as the public deserves answers to why so much devastation has occurred.
- Narrative B, as provided by Politico. Sadly, many impacts of this earthquake could have been lessened if only Erdoğan's government had dealt seriously with supervising urban development in quake-prone areas, enforcing the mandatory earthquake-resistant design codes to buildings its legislation approved in 2000. There are two major fault lines along the Anatolian Plate, and earthquake mitigation is vital given the likelihood of catastrophic tremors. Erdoğan's prospects for re-election seem to be dwindling as anger grows.