The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023, resulted in the collapse of over 16,000 buildings in Turkey alone. The death toll has now crossed 50,000. The Turkish government has responded to the tragedy by launching an investigation into the causes of the building collapses.
Hundreds of people are under investigation, including building contractors and owners. The authorities have already arrested 184 suspects, and more arrests are expected. The mayor of a city close to the earthquake-affected area is also among those arrested.
Years of warnings ignored
Experts have been warning for years that many new buildings in Turkey are unsafe due to corruption and government policies. However, their warnings were ignored, and now the country is paying the price in lost lives and destroyed communities.
Relaxed rules to blame?
Opposition parties and construction experts have accused President Recep Tayyip’s government of relaxing the rules, which they say contributed to the disaster. The government, in turn, is blaming those who cut corners and ignored regulations.
Lessons to be learned
The tragedy in Turkey serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of building safe, resilient communities. It is essential that lessons are learned from this disaster to prevent future tragedies. Building codes and regulations must be enforced, and corruption must be rooted out.