Turkey arrests 48 people over looting after quake

turkey arrests 48 people over looting after quake – The News Mill

ANI Photo | Turkey arrests 48 people over looting after quake

Turkish authorities on Saturday arrested 48 people for looting after a powerful earthquake hit Turkey, reported state media.
The suspects were held in eight different provinces as part of investigations into looting after Monday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the region, news agency Anadolu said.
The tremor and its aftershocks killed more than 25,000 people in Turkey and Syria.
Prosecutors can now detain people for an extra three days from four days previously for looting crimes as part of extended powers under the state of emergency, according to a decree published in the official gazette.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier vowed Turkey would crack down on looters.
“We’ve announced a state of emergency,” he said during a visit to the quake-affected province of Diyarbakir.
“This means that, from now on, people involved in looting or kidnapping should know that the state’s firm hand is on their backs,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan on Tuesday had announced a three-month state of emergency in the 10 provinces in southeastern Turkey impacted by the tremor.
Meanwhile, the death toll from the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria earlier this week surpassed 25,000 on Saturday, reported CNN.
In Turkey, the number of people killed has risen to 21,848, according to Turkish President.
Speaking in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa on Saturday, Erdogan added that 80,104 people had been injured.
In Syria, the total number of deaths stands at 3,553, including 2,166 in rebel-held areas in the northwest, according to the White Helmets civil defense group.
There have been 1,387 deaths in government-controlled parts of Syria, according to Syrian state media.
The total number of injured people in Syria across all affected territories stands at 5,273, with 2,326 in government-controlled areas and 2,950 in the rebel-held areas, reported CNN.
Notably, Germany has also suspended rescue and relief work at the site of a deadly earthquake in Turkey due to security concerns, following a similar move by Austria earlier Saturday, reported CNN.
The German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) stopped its rescue operations due to a change in the security situation in the Hatay region, the organization said in a statement Saturday.
It had been operating with International Search and Rescue (ISAR) Germany, in coordination with Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD).
“In the last few hours, the security situation in the Hatay region has apparently changed. There are increasing reports of clashes between different groups. The search and rescue teams of ISAR Germany and THW will therefore remain in the joint base camp for the time being. ISAR and THW will resume their work as soon as AFAD deems the situation to be safe,” read the statement.
The Austrian Army also cited security risks in suspending its operations, reported CNN.
The Austrian Army has suspended rescue operations in Turkey due to an “increasingly difficult security situation,” according to the Austrian Forces Disaster Relief Unit (AFDRU).
“The expected success of saving a life bears no reasonable relation to the security risk. There is increasing aggression between groups in Turkey,” Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Kugelweis of the AFDRU said in a statement Saturday.
“There was no attack on us Austrians. We’re all fine … The mood among the helpers is good, given the circumstances … We would like to help, but the circumstances are what they are,” Kugelweis continued.
“We keep our rescue and recovery forces ready. We are ready for further operations,” Kugelweis added, stating that a scheduled return to Austria for Thursday remains in place. (ANI)

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