Turkey detains three over Istanbul building collapse

A Turkish woman being rescued at the site of a building that collapsed in Istanbul’s Kartal district on Feb. 6, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 14 February 2019
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Turkey detains three over Istanbul building collapse

  • They are charged with “killing by negligence”
  • The eight-story block where 43 people were registered as living crumbled last week but the cause still remains unclear

ISTANBUL: Turkish authorities on Thursday detained three suspects over the collapse of an apartment building in Istanbul that claimed the lives of 21 people, local media reported.
The suspects held over the collapse in the residential district of Kartal on the Asian side of the city were identified as project officer Suzan Cayir, technical implementation supervisor Ugur Misirlioglu and building inspector Arzu Keles Boran, the state run TRT television reported.
They are charged with “killing by negligence,” according to the NTV television.
The eight-story block where 43 people were registered as living crumbled last week but the cause still remains unclear.
Local officials said three storys were illegally added — a common practice in the country’s largest metropolis of around 15 million people.
The collapse fanned criticism of a government amnesty granted last year to people accused of illegal building — a measure announced ahead of municipal elections this March.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited the site on Saturday, said authorities have “lessons to learn” from the incident.


Thousands of Algerians protest against Bouteflika’s re-election bid

Updated 14 min 14 sec ago
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Thousands of Algerians protest against Bouteflika’s re-election bid

ALGIERS: Thousands of young Algerians took to the streets of the capital on Friday to protest against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s plans to seek a fifth term and police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.
The 81-year old, in office since 1999, has said he will contest the April 18 presidential election, despite concerns over his health. He has been seen in public only a handful of times since suffering a stroke in 2013.
“No to Bouteflika and no to Said,” a crowed chanted while marching through the center of Algiers. The president’s youngest brother Said Bouteflika is a presidential adviser.
Reuters journalists filmed tear gas being fired over a crowd that ran to escape.
“We and the security are brothers,” some protesters chanted.
The protest came after mosque preachers had warned in Friday prayers against demonstrating, warning of violence.
Bouteflika’s re-election bid comes after the ruling FLN party picked him as its official presidential candidate. Several political parties, trade unions and business organizations have already said they would support his re-election.
He is expected to easily win the vote as the opposition remains weak and divided.
But many young people feel disconnected from an elite made up of veteran fighters from Algeria’s 1954-1962 independence war with France.
His re-election would provide short-term stability for the FLN, the army and business tycoons, and postpone a potentially difficult succession.
Bouteflika remains popular with many Algerians, who credit him with ending a long civil war by offering an amnesty to former extremist fighters.
Algeria is a key gas supplier to Europe and an ally of the United States in the fight against Islamist militants in the Sahel region of North Africa.