Erdogan Targets Construction Firm in Earthquake Investigation

Prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for a number of developers after last week’s earthquakes in Turkey and Syria killed more than 28,000 people and worsened the security situation in some parts of the disaster area.

Turkish investigators have identified 131 people of interest in an extensive investigation into the catastrophe and issued arrest warrants for 113, Vice President Fuat Oktay said at a news conference early Sunday. Several people have already been detained, according to state media.

The survey is led by nearly 150 people. district public prosecutor’s officeis the latest sign of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan Many seismologists and civil engineering experts are trying to address growing criticism of lax enforcement of building codes, which they say has significantly exacerbated tolls from Monday’s magnitude 7.8. earthquake.

The disaster came just two months before the elections and analysts expect it to be Erdogan’s toughest in two decades in power.

At least one million units have been damaged by the earthquake and a series of aftershocks, according to Turkey’s Minister of Environment and Urban Planning Murat Kulm.

Turkey’s death toll reached 24,617 on Sunday, according to Oktay. In Syria, 3,553 people have died, according to data from state media in regime-controlled areas of the country and civil defense forces in rebel-held areas.

thousands of rescuers were still trying track survivors Earthmoving equipment has been deployed to remove crushed concrete and steel in many areas of the affected area. Local television, online websites, and newspapers all covered the wreckage of the man, including his 7-year-old boy and his 85-year-old woman, in the Anatolian city of Adiyaman, after being trapped in the freezing cold for 150 hours. I posted a picture of a survivor who was salvaged from. At Antakya, Hatay province.

Roads in and out of Hatay, one of the hardest-hit areas, were jammed with traffic. Trucks brought in supplies and machinery, and residents evacuated to villages with low-rise housing and cities and towns less affected by the disaster. There was a line at the petrol station on the edge of the state. A makeshift soup kitchen served food by the roadside.

The security situation in parts of the disaster area remained tense on Sunday after some rescue teams halted operations over concerns for their safety. He reported hearing gunshots during the heightened tension.

Schools in 10 affected Turkish provinces will remain closed until March 1, while schools in the remaining regions will reopen on February 20, Education Minister Mahmut Özer said. Some colleges have switched to online learning, allowing dormitories to be used as survivor housing.

The international response to this incident is also accelerating. Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani met with Erdogan on Sunday. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited southern Turkey on Sunday with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Čavşoğlu.

Meanwhile, Germany has announced that it will issue visas to earthquake victims. Interior Minister Nancy Feser told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that the authorities “want to enable Turkish or Syrian families in Germany to bring their relatives from the affected areas in a non-bureaucratic way. I’m thinking,” he said. Head up and get treated. She uses regular visas that are distributed quickly and are valid for 3 months. ”

She said the system to provide visas will be set up by the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. About 3 million Turks live in Germany, about half of whom have Turkish citizenship.many of them are descendants of Gastal Biter Or the foreign workers who came from Turkey in the 1970s and 1980s to find employment in German industry.

Additional reporting by Guy Chazan Erdogan Targets Construction Firm in Earthquake Investigation

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