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Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Thursday, 21 October 2004 18:19 UK

Turkish builder jailed over quake

Rubble after an earthquake in the Turkish city of Yalova, in 1999
More than 17,000 people were killed in the 1999 earthquake

A Turkish court has jailed a building contractor for 25 years for negligence that resulted in the deaths of nearly 200 people in an earthquake in 1999.

The court accused Veli Gocer of using shoddy building techniques in the construction of apartment buildings in the north-western city of Yalova.

More than 17,000 people were killed in an earthquake in the area that August.

Correspondents say the disaster exposed high levels of corruption in Turkey's building sector.

Gocer was accused of using improper practices - such as mixing sea sand and pebbles with concrete - in buildings that collapsed.

The country imposed stricter building codes after thousands of poorly constructed apartment blocks collapsed in two earthquakes in August and November 1999.

Earthquakes are frequent in Turkey, which is located on a geological fault.



SEE ALSO
Runaway quake builder arrested
06 Sep 99 |  Europe
Why Turkey suffers earthquake misery
08 Mar 10 |  Europe
Ecevit urges Turks to remain determined
21 Aug 99 |  Monitoring


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