Legal services continue in containers in Hatay Courthouse garden

Legal services continue in containers in Hatay Courthouse garden

Mesut Hasan Benli- HATAY
Legal services continue in containers in Hatay Courthouse garden

After the 6.4 magnitude earthquake on Feb. 20 heavily damaged Hatay Courthouse and rendered it inoperational, legal services continue in containers installed in the courthouse garden.

Surviving the Feb. 6 quakes that devastated the country’s south with slight damages, the courthouse became completely unusable after a major tremor in the southern province of Hatay’s Defne district.

Despite the major destruction in the courthouse building, legal services are carried out in containers set up in its garden.

Prosecutors take statements of the suspects in a container while judges make decisions about the suspects in another container.

Names and titles of prosecutors and judges were written on papers and hung on the doors of the containers.

As the container courthouse does not have a custody room, the suspects coming for interrogation are kept in the garden under police escort.

Authorities emphasized that the courthouse service continues without interruption.

One of the containers was established as the “Application Office for Missing Persons” so that people who have not been able to reach their relatives since the earthquakes occurred can apply to the office.

People also started to print posters with photographs of their relatives who disappeared after the earthquakes and hung them in several parts of the city in order to find them.

The bureau carries out investigations on these applications.

In the preliminary expert reports prepared after the examinations on the wrecks, the prosecutors in Hatay underlined that most of the collapsed buildings were not constructed in accordance with the earthquake regulations.

Elaborating on one of the collapsed buildings in the Antakya district, the report stated that electrical cables were passed through both columns and beams in the building’s carrier columns, which is completely against the regulations.

Comminution, deterioration and void were observed in the concrete, the report stated, adding that similar problems were detected in most of the buildings that turned into wrecks.

In another earthquake-hit province, the Adıyaman Bar Association, together with the Union of Turkish Bar Association, has set up a booth outside the courthouse to provide information and legal support to earthquake survivors.

Citizens whose houses were damaged or collapsed in the deadly earthquakes are able to file a criminal complaint to the prosecutor’s offices in the container with the help of lawyers.