ISTANBUL – Turkish authorities have arrested 48 people for looting after a powerful earthquake hit Turkey, state media reported on Saturday.
The suspects were held in eight different provinces as part of investigations into looting after Monday's 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the region, news agency Anadolu said.
The tremor and its aftershocks killed more than 25,000 people in Turkey and Syria.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday announced a three-month state of emergency in the 10 provinces in southeastern Turkey impacted by the tremor.
Prosecutors can now detain people for an extra three days from four days previously for looting crimes as part of extended powers under the state of emergency, according to a decree published in the official gazette on Saturday.
Mr Erdogan earlier on Saturday vowed Turkey would crack down on looters.
“We've announced a state of emergency,” he said during a visit to the quake-affected province of Diyarbakir.
“This means that, from now on, people involved in looting or kidnapping should know that the state's firm hand is on their backs,” Mr Erdogan said.