Ministry investigates contractors after deadly quakes

Ministry investigates contractors after deadly quakes

Ministry investigates contractors after deadly quakes

The Justice Ministry has demanded that contractors, along with other responsible persons, of the buildings that collapsed in the major earthquakes that hit Türkiye’s south should be identified quickly and measures should be taken to prevent them from fleeing the country.

The ministry has issued an announcement to the chief public prosecutor’s offices for an effective investigation in the 10 provinces affected by the earthquakes, asking them to establish “earthquake crime investigation offices.”

Prosecutors who will work in these offices to be established will not be given any other job, the announcement said, stressing that efforts will be made to identify the contractors, engineers of record and inspectors of the destroyed buildings, whose number exceeds 64,000.

“Necessary investigations will be carried out immediately for those who are determined to be responsible, and protection measures will be taken against the possibility of escaping and blackening of evidence,” it added.

“Evidence will be collected accurately and completely, and an expert committee comprising architects, geology and civil engineers will be formed to prepare a report on the subject.”

A study will be carried out at the crime scene in the presence of experts under the supervision of the public prosecutor, and reports will be run, according to the announcement.

“Building license, building usage certificate, and architectural and static projects will be obtained from the relevant municipalities, building owners and building inspection company without delay and submitted to the expert committee,” it said.

A total of 131 suspects were identified in the investigations related to the issue, Vice President Fuat Oktay informed, adding that 113 of them were detained, while one was arrested.

Contractor Hasan Alpargün, who fled to Turkish Cyprus, was caught in Nicosia, while Mehmet Ertan Akay, the contractor of the destroyed Ayşe-Mehmet Polat residential complex in Gaziantep, and İbrahim Mustafa Uncuoğlu, the contractor of the Bahar Apartment, were detained in Istanbul.

Mehmet Yaşar Coşkun, the owner of Antis Yapı, which built the Renaissance Residence in Hatay destroyed by quakes, was also arrested at the airport while trying to escape to Montenegro.