Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag vows to take action against negligence and flaws after deadly quakes flattened more than 6,000 buildings in southeastern Türkiye.

Search and rescue efforts continue after 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes hit southern Türkiye.
Search and rescue efforts continue after 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes hit southern Türkiye. (AFP)

Turkish authorities have begun to arrest contractors over buildings that collapsed after two deadly earthquakes jolted southeastern Türkiye and northern Syria.

Role of 131 suspects related to buildings collapsed in earthquakes has been determined, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said late on Saturday.

He said one of them has been arrested and detention orders have been announced for 113 others. 

Earlier, police arrested Hasan Alpargun in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) after some buildings made by his construction company collapsed in the southern Adana province, according to security forces.

Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Alpargun on suspicion of reckless manslaughter and other charges.

Contractor Ibrahim Mustafa Uncuoglu was arrested in Istanbul after technical examination of the wreckage of an apartment building in the Gaziantep province found neglect.

Istanbul police arrested another contractor, Mehmet Ertan Akay, after his building collapsed during the quake in Gaziantep.

Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Akay on charges of reckless manslaughter and building code violations.

READ MORE: Türkiye earthquake biggest in over 100 years – Swiss seismologist

Accountability on negligence, fault

Mehmet Yasar Coskun, the contractor of a large residential building in the hard-hit Hatay province, was also taken into custody.

Security forces arrested Coskun at Istanbul Airport on his way to Montenegro while attempting to leave Türkiye.

Coskun claimed that he did not know why the building collapsed, and that his flight to Montenegro had nothing to do with the collapsed building.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag on Wednesday vowed to take action against negligence and flaws after the deadly quakes. 

Underlining that the priority now is to save people who are trapped under the rubble, Bozdag pledged, "after that, the judicial process will follow and all those who had negligence and fault will be held accountable."

Thousands dead and millions affected 

At least 24,617 people died and more than 80,000 others were injured in two strong earthquakes that jolted southeastern Türkiye on Monday, officials said. 

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes, centered in the Kahramanmaras province, affected more than 13 million people across 10 provinces, also including Hatay, Malatya, Gaziantep, Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the strong tremors that struck Türkiye in the space of less than 10 hours.

READ MORE: Türkiye's rescue operation enters 6th day as quake toll soars

Source: TRTWorld and agencies