Feb 26, 2023 - World

Turkey arrests 184 in connection to collapsed buildings after earthquakes

An earthquake survivor family pass by a ruined building

An earthquake survivor family pass by a collapsed building on February 25 in Hatay, Turkey. Photo: Mehmet Kacmaz/Getty Images

Turkey has arrested 184 people in connection to buildings that collapsed after catastrophic earthquakes devastated the region earlier this month, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag announced Saturday.

Driving the news: Turkish authorities said earlier this month that they had launched an investigation into contractors allegedly linked to the deadly collapse of buildings.

  • Turkish authorities have said that more than 173,000 buildings across the country have collapsed or have been severely damaged, per Al Jazeera.
  • The total death toll from the earthquakes across Turkey and Syria has surpassed 50,000.

The big picture: Contractors, building owners and managers are among those arrested, Bozdag said.

  • A total of 612 "suspects" are under investigation, he added.
  • “The detection of evidence in the buildings continues as a basis for criminal investigation,” Bozdag added, AP reported.
  • While Turkey's construction codes do meet current earthquake-engineering standards, they are rarely enforced, helping explain why so many buildings collapsed, AP previously reported.

Go deeper: WHO warns Turkey and Syria quake survivors face "secondary disaster"

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