President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has come under criticism for his role in promoting legislation that allowed property owners to have construction violations forgiven without bringing their buildings up to code.
The legislation was passed by Mr. Erdogan’s political party and was seen as risky as Turkey is prone to earthquakes and had tightened building codes to make buildings more earthquake-proof. However, the move appealed to voters and was praised by Mr. Erdogan at rallies in the provinces of Hatay, Kahramanmaras, and Malatya.
The recent earthquake that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria, with a magnitude of 7.8, resulted in the deaths of more than 33,000 people, and many believe that poor construction contributed to the scale of the destruction and loss of life.
The Turkish government has responded by arresting building contractors with ties to collapsed buildings, but construction experts argue that the builders could not have completed their projects without approvals from various officials who have so far escaped scrutiny.
Mr. Erdogan has made construction a driving force of his economic development policy, with many of the country’s top construction magnates having close ties to him or his party. However, the growth boom has raised questions about whether some buildings were built too quickly and poorly.