Investigations have been launched against more than 600 people over the buildings that collapsed in Turkey’s catastrophic earthquakes earlier this month, according to the country’s justice minister.
Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Saturday that 184 of the 612 suspects had been jailed pending trial. Those in custody included construction contractors and building owners or managers, he said in televised comments from a coordination centre in Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey.
“The detection of evidence in the buildings continues as a basis for criminal investigation,” Bozdag added.
The aftermath of the 7.8- and 7.6-magnitude earthquakes on February 6, which led to more than 44,000 deaths in southern Turkey and more than 5,500 deaths in northern Syria, has seen many Turks question the structural integrity of many of the 173,000 buildings that collapsed or were seriously damaged.
Opposition parties have accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration of failing to enforce building regulations.