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

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.


Gulf countries announce measures to cut links with Iran as coronavirus cases rise in Middle East

Updated 12 min 10 sec ago

Gulf countries announce measures to cut links with Iran as coronavirus cases rise in Middle East

  • The UAE suspended all passenger and cargo flights to Iran
  • Kuwait has canceled celebrations for national holidays on Tuesday and Wednesday

DUBAI: Gulf countries announced new measures on Tuesday to cut links with Iran to prevent coronavirus spreading after the confirmation of 20 new cases, all of them people returning from the Islamic republic.

The UAE suspended all passenger and cargo flights to Iran after Kuwait and Bahrain announced the additional cases of COVID-19.

Over the past two days, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman have reported 29 cases of the novel coronavirus among people returning from pilgrimages to Iran, which is battling the deadliest outbreak outside China and where the death toll has reached 16.

Bahrain also announced 15 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number affected in the kingdom to 23 — including six Saudi women — after some of the people had returned from Iran via Dubai and Sharjah in the UAE.

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority “suspended all passenger flights and cargo to and from Iran starting today and for one week,” a statement carried by the official WAM news agency said, adding that the ban could be extended.

Also on Tuesday, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed tweeted that the UAE was ready to provide all forms of support to help China combat the spread of the virus.

Shortly after, the Bahraini authorities said citizens were banned from traveling to Iran “until further notice.”

In neighboring Kuwait, three new cases were recorded among Kuwaiti men who had been under quarantine after returning from Iran.

Oman, which on Monday reported its first cases of coronavirus in two Omani women who had returned from Iran, reported an additional two cases.

Muscat was making arrangements to bring back its citizens from the Islamic republic, the foreign ministry said, a day after it suspended all flights to and from Iran.

Oman also announced that it will suspend the import and export of goods from Iran from Wednesday.

The three countries have large Shiite Muslim populations who frequently travel to Iran to visit holy shrines.

The UAE has already announced 13 coronavirus cases, all foreigners, including an Iranian couple who had traveled from Iran.

Kuwait has canceled celebrations for national holidays on Tuesday and Wednesday and also scrapped all sports events to counter the spread of the disease.