Türkiye arrests contractors of buildings flattened by quake

Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Alpargun on suspicion of reckless manslaughter and other charges

00:56 - 12/02/2023 Sunday
File photo
File photo

Turkish authorities have begun to arrest contractors over buildings that collapsed after deadly two major earthquakes jolted southern Türkiye and western Syria.

Police arrested Hasan Alpargun in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) after some buildings made by his construction company collapsed in the southern Adana province, according to security forces.

Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Alpargun on suspicion of reckless manslaughter and other charges.

Contractor Ibrahim Mustafa Uncuoglu was arrested in Istanbul after technical examination of the wreckage of an apartment building in the Gaziantep province found neglect.

Istanbul police arrested another contractor, Mehmet Ertan Akay, after his building collapsed during the quake in Gaziantep.

Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Akay on charges of reckless manslaughter and building code violations.

Mehmet Yasar Coskun, the contractor of a large residential building in the hard-hit Hatay province, was also taken into custody on Saturday.

Earlier, security forces arrested Coskun at Istanbul Airport on his way to Montenegro while attempting to leave Türkiye.

Coskun claimed that did not know why the building was destroyed, and that his flight to Montenegro had nothing to do with the collapsed building.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag on Wednesday vowed to take action against negligence and flaws after the deadly quakes.

Underlining that the priority now is to save people who are trapped under the rubble, Bozdag pledged, "After that, the judicial process will follow. All those who had negligence and fault will be held accountable."

At least 22,327 people died and 80,278 others were injured in two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye on Monday, the country’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Saturday.

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes, centered in the Kahramanmaras province, affected more than 13 million people across 10 provinces, also including Hatay, Malatya, Gaziantep, Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the strong tremors that struck Türkiye in the space of less than 10 hours.​​​​​​​

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