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Turkish doctors file complaint against gov’t officials for 70 deaths in hospital destroyed by earthquakes

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The Turkish Physicians Union (Hekimler Birliği) has filed a complaint against the government officials they claim are responsible for the collapse of a hospital building in the southern province of Hatay in major earthquakes on February 6 and the resulting death of 70 doctors and patients, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing the Bianet news website.

Eleven provinces in the country’s south and southeast were hit by two powerful earthquakes, registering magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.5, on February 6, which were followed by numerous aftershocks, leading to the death of more than 41,000 people in Turkey and wreaking devastation in the region as well as in northwest Syria.

With reference to an expert report published in 2012, Turkish doctors said the hospital in the İskenderun district of Hatay was not earthquake resistant and has not been reinforced since then.

In the complaint the union demanded that the accused be prosecuted on charges of “murder” under Articles 81, 82, 83, 85, 86, 87, 88 and 89 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said Turkey would build almost 200,000 new homes in the country’s southeast.

He promised work would begin in March to build 199,739 homes, including more than 130,000 in the worst-affected provinces of Hatay, Kahramanmaraş and Malatya.

“We will build a new Antakya, İskenderun, Arsuz,” the president said, referring to towns and cities in Hatay leveled by the quakes.

The city of Antakya, once home to myriad civilizations, lies in ruins after the quakes, with centuries-old mosques and churches destroyed.

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