Turkish lawyers file criminal complaint against Erdoğan, top state officials over responsibility for quake deaths
61 Turkish lawyers have filed criminal complaints against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and top state officials over their "irresponsibilities" regarding the Feb. 6 earthquakes in southeastern Turkey. The lawyers accused the suspects over the charges of 11 separate crimes, including "deliberately killing and injuring more than one person," and "deliberate negligence."
As per the call of People's Lawyers (Halkçı Hukukçular), 61 Turkish lawyers have filed criminal complaints against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan President, Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, ministers, cell phone carriers, contractors, and governors and mayors in quake-stricken provinces over their responsibilities for the earthquake deaths in southeastern Turkey.
Halkçı Hukukçular olarak mücadelemiz sürecek!— Halkçı Hukukçular (@HHukukcular) February 21, 2023
Başta Recep Tayyip Erdoğan olmak üzere depremle ilgili sorumluluğu bulunan kişiler hakkında 61 meslektaşımızla birlikte suç duyurusunda bulunduk.
Halk için Adalet! pic.twitter.com/UqBehpueet
The lawyers accused the suspects over the charges of "deliberately killing and injuring more than one person", "deliberate negligence", "negligence of supervisory duty", "malpracticing", "threatening", "insulting", "restricting communication", "bid-rigging" and “destroying, concealing or changing criminal evidence.”
The complaint reminded President Erdoğan’s remarks, deeming the earthquakes “destiny,” and said “In every pain our country faces, the people are forced to fulfill the responsibilities that the state cannot fulfill with their own insufficient means.”
The complaint requested a lawsuit to be filed against the suspects.
There is a growing criticism of the Turkish government for not preparing the country for earthquakes despite being in power for over 20 years.
Criticism also mounts on the government for not adequately bringing help and aid to quake-stricken provinces and districts.
On the other hand, cell phone carriers were heavily criticized as mobile phones were not picking up signal after the Feb. 6 quakes for a long time.
Twitter, Tiktok and Ekşisözlük were restricted in Turkey for several hours on Feb. 8 following severe criticisms of the government’s response to the two major earthquakes. Especially Twitter has been a key communication platform for thousands of people to share information and location about their beloved ones under the rubble to help them to be rescued.