Turkish courts have arrested 237 people as a result of investigations launched into 768 suspects involved in the construction business for contributing to last month’s major earthquakes’ catastrophic death toll, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.
The 7.8-magnitude quake that struck near the city of Gaziantep as people slept has claimed the lives of over 45,000 people across 11 southeastern provinces hardest hit by the disaster, according to the latest official figures. It was followed by a number of aftershocks, including a 7.5-magnitude temblor that hit the region later the same day.
According to Anadolu, while 768 people have been detained to date as part of operations conducted by the Anti-smuggling and Organized Crime Directorate (KOM) over shoddily constructed buildings that were destroyed by the earthquake, 237 of them, including 166 contractors, have been arrested by a court of law.
Turkey has erected high-rise buildings across fault lines and swaths of earthquake-prone regions that have been bracing for a major jolt for years.
The quake leveled thousands of buildings and has sparked outrage from victims and people across Turkey over the poor quality construction.