As the death toll from the Turkey-Syria earthquake approaches 30,000 killed, with thousands more likely still buried under the rubble, Turkish officials are beginning the process of holding those responsible for the soaring number of deaths accountable.
Officials have estimated that approximately 25,000 buildings have either sustained severe damage or been leveled. Fear has also been mounting that more unstable buildings shaken by the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks could still collapse. While rescue efforts continue through difficult conditions, Turkish officials have begun the process of doling out punishment for those responsible.
According to The Hill, "Approximately 130 people were arrested or are the target of arrest warrants issued by Turkish officials for their involvement in alleged faulty and illegal construction methods as rescue teams work to locate survivors in the wreckage of thousands of buildings downed by an earthquake nearly a week ago."
After the earthquake, Turkey established the "Earthquake Crimes Investigation Offices," which will investigate malfeasance and negligence which contributed to the sheer volume of buildings that collapsed and an unimaginable death toll.
Regarding the investigation into faulty construction that caused many of the buildings to collapse, a Turkish official said, "We will follow this up meticulously until the necessary judicial process is concluded, especially for buildings that suffered heavy damage and buildings that caused deaths and injuries."
Amid public finger-pointing regarding who to blame for the tragedy and the outrage from victims' families, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised a tough response for those liable for the massive building collapses across the country. In some areas, entire cities were demolished, including the major city of Antakya in Hatay province.
Erdogan's response to the earthquake is not only being watched closely by the world but is also certain to be a major issue in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in May.
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