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Turkey widens investigation into building contractors violating safety standards

Turkey will widen an investigation into building contractors suspected of violating safety standards amid the devastating earthquake, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said, as the country stepped up housing plans for victims. So far the catastrophe’s death toll reached more than 47,000 in Turkey and Syria.

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Soylu said 564 suspects had been identified so far, with 160 people arrested and many more still under investigation.

“Our cities will be built in the right places, our children will live in stronger cities. We know what kind of test we are facing, and we will come out of this stronger,” he told state broadcaster TRT Haber.


The interior minister added that there had been 7,930 aftershocks following the first quake on February 6 and that more than 600,000 apartments and 150,000 commercial premises had suffered at least moderate damage.

Around 865,000 people are living in tents and 23,500 in container homes, while 376,000 are in student dormitories and public guesthouses outside the earthquake zone, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday.

Tonight on #BBCPanorama we meet the survivors of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, and rescue workers from both sides of the border

Could more have been done to save lives?

Aftershock: The Turkey-Syria Earthquake is on BBC One at 8pm

— BBC Panorama (@BBCPanorama) February 13, 2023

Response to earthquake

Süleyman Soylu stressed that some 313,000 tents had been erected, with 100,000 container homes to be installed in the earthquake zone.

Furthermore, Turkey launched a temporary wage support scheme on Wednesday and banned layoffs in 10 cities to protect workers and businesses from the financial impact of the massive earthquake that hit the south of the country.

The Turkish president pledged to rebuild housing within a year.

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