Turkey detains 12 over collapsed buildings after quake: Report

AFP , Saturday 11 Feb 2023

Turkish police have detained 12 people over collapsed buildings in the southeastern provinces of Gaziantep and Sanliurfa, local media reported on Saturday, following the huge quake that hit Turkey.

Turkish soldiers stand next to a destroyed building in Hatay
Turkish soldiers stand next to a destroyed building in Hatay, on February 11, 2023, after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country s southeast. AFP


Those taken into custody included contractors, DHA news agency said. At least 6,000 buildings collapsed after a 7.8-magnitude tremor hit the region, killing more than 25,000 people, sparking anger over the poor quality of housing.

There are expected to be more detentions after the public prosecutor in Diyarbakir, one of 10 southeastern provinces affected by the quake, issued arrest warrants for 29 people on Saturday, state news agency reported.

One of those detained Saturday was a contractor for a building in Gaziantep, the agency said, adding he was found by police in Istanbul.

There have been a wave of investigations launched by prosecutors in provinces impacted including Kahramanmaras where Pazarcik district was at the epicentre of the quake.

Turkey's justice ministry has ordered prosecutors in the 10 provinces to establish special "earthquake crimes investigation offices".

On Friday, Turkish police apprehended a contractor of a block of high-rise luxury flats that toppled over in Hatay province.

He was detained at Istanbul airport after reportedly trying to flee the country.

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