Building collapse investigations are expanding after the Turkey earthquakes

Next to a demolished building, a man is sitting on a red cushion

As a result of the buildings that collapsed during the deadly earthquake on February 6, more than 600 people are currently being investigated in Turkey, according to the government.

184 suspects, including building contractors and property owners, had already been detained, according to the statement made on Saturday by Justice Minister Bekir Bozda.

Experts have long warned that many new structures are unsafe due to widespread corruption and government regulations.

Over 50,000 people have now been confirmed dead in Turkey and Syria.

Mr. Bozda delivered the remarks live on television from southeast Turkey, the region that was hit by the 7+ magnitude earthquake and an even stronger tremor a few hours later.

His remarks demonstrated the expansion of the investigation; two weeks prior, the authorities reported that 113 arrest warrants had been issued.

Turkish media reported that a mayor of a town near the epicenter of the tremors is among those detained.

As a result of the earthquakes, more than 160,00 buildings in Turkey either collapsed or sustained significant damage, raising the possibility that human error contributed to the severity of the natural disaster's effects.

Opposition parties and some construction experts accuse the administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of failing to enforce building codes and attempting to shift responsibility for the disaster.

In order to promote a construction boom, including in earthquake-prone areas, they claim that government policies have permitted so-called amnesties for contractors who disregarded building regulations.

Mr. Erdogan has acknowledged mistakes, but he seems to be blaming fate for the severity of the catastrophe.

Such incidents have always occurred. During a recent trip to the area, he declared that it was all part of destiny's plan.

After 20 years in power, Mr. Erdogan's future is in jeopardy with elections just around the corner, and his cries for national harmony have gone unanswered.

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