Arrests Made For Negligence in Construction Sector

Turkey - earthquake

Sunday, 12 February 2023

Deputy President of Turkey Fuat Oktay said that, “The responsibility of 131 suspects regarding the destroyed buildings in the earthquake has been determined, one of them has been arrested, and detention orders have been given to 113 others”, Yeniduzen reports.

Oktay made a statement regarding the work carried out following the two major earthquakes whose epicentre was in Kahramanmaraş.

He said that 32,071 search and rescue teams in the field continue to work with all their might, Oktay stated that K9 dogs and all available technology are being used to the fullest in search and rescue.

Oktay said, “One of the saddest pieces of news is about our brothers who lost their lives. Unfortunately, the number continues to increase. 24,617 people lost their lives. The burial procedures, identification and judicial process of our brothers who lost their lives continue at full speed”, he said. 

Meanwhile a report by Turkish daily Hurriyet says that the earthquakes would have had less of an impact if the necessary precautions had taken place.

The head of the Chamber of Civil Engineers, Taner Yüzgeç, said:

We experienced a huge disaster that affected 12-15 million people, but if we had made the necessary preparations, the destruction might not have been this great”. said Taner 

He emphasised that there had been failings in the planning and construction processes of the buildings. 

If a building survives and the next one is destroyed, it cannot be called destiny”, Yüzgeç added. “Construction processes have been contractor and profit-oriented, however, safety and public health should be prioritised”.

Quoting authorities as saying there are between 6 and 6.5 million risky structures across the country, he said, “We do not know where and in what condition they are”.

Yavuz Işık, the head of the Turkish Ready Mixed Concrete Association (THBB), noted after the tremor centred in the northwestern province of Kocaeli’s Gölcük district that killed over 17,000 people became a milestone in the country, the earthquake regulation and building inspection law was passed in 1999.

Accordingly, 90-95 percent of the destroyed buildings in the quake were those constructed before 2000 as necessary revisions were made after the regulation, he added.

The demolished new buildings, on the other hand, show that there may be a problem with the ground, the material may be faulty, or the project implementation was incomplete, Işık pointed out.

There are 70,000-80,000 coffin buildings in Istanbul, which is a miracle even to be standing. These houses must be evacuated and renovated”, he urged the authorities.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, who paid a visit to the quake region in Diyarbakır, said, “An investigation has been launched regarding the destroyed buildings. Those responsible will be held accountable before the law”.

Yeniduzen, Hurriyet

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