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KANAT ATKAYA >35 kilo of meat saved from burnt dorm

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Among so many disasters and bloody attacks, one piece of good news has emerged. Thirty-five kilograms of meat has been saved. Yes, I will answer the fair and appropriate questions you have, such as “What 35 kilos of meat? What meat? What do you mean?” 

But before that, let’s go back to Nov. 29, 2016. On that date, a fire broke out at a student dormitory run by a religious brotherhood in the southern province Adana’s Aladağ district; 11 children and one caretaker tragically died.

If you remember, we started discussing the venue of the fire, which became the effective replacement to the state dormitory after it closed. Some civil servants in the town told local people to register their children at that particular dormitory. You will certainly remember how our bigwigs visited the place and said whatever was needed would be done and that those responsible would be punished… 

You know, the dormitory where there were no fire extinguishers and where the fire exit doors were locked.

You will remember that the children and their supervisors had never conducted a fire drill. 

The burnt bodies of nine girls were put in one ambulance and sent to the morgue. DNA tests had to be done to identify the bodies. Some of the bodies of the little ones were found hugging each other. 

We also heard through reporters who followed up on the incident that after the disaster, some families were warned or threatened by various means to not file complaints. 

The head of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, Metin Feyzioğlu, after inspecting the site, filed 11 questions, some of which included: “These dormitories have to be inspected by the district governor’s office and the Education Ministry at least twice a year; didn’t they see any mistakes?” 

Also, for instance, Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesperson Selin Sayek Böke said: “The regulation is very clear. Students attending secondary education schools cannot stay at private dormitories. It was illegal that the students who lost their lives in Aladağ were staying in this dormitory.” 

The dormitory rooms were covered with wood, but there shouldn’t have been any wood used in the interior; the floors were covered with synthetic wall-to-wall carpets, but should not have been. No measure against fire was ever taken at the dormitory, remember? 

You should remember those young souls, most of them who were around 10 years old, who died tragically in that cult dormitory; but you should also remember that thousands of similar dormitories continue to operate in the county. Do you remember? 

The other day, a story by Ragıp Duran on the Diken news website said 30 to 35 kilos of meat had been saved from the disaster. 

“How,” you ask?

Two days after the fire, one of the workers at the dormitory who was arrested, Mahmut Deniz, applied to the office of the prosecutor through his lawyer and said: “There is a risk that the meat in the refrigerators will go bad. I ask with respect that the meat in the fridge in the dormitory be handed over to the association…” 

Security forces, along with Deniz’s lawyer, went to the site of the fire while smoke was still rising. They saved the meat, handed it over to the lawyer and had a record signed: 

“On Dec. 1, 2016, at around 3:30 p.m., we visited the Aladağ Girls Dormitory. In the dormitory building in question, there were two deep freezes and a refrigerator. There were about 35 kilogram of frozen and semi-thawed meat. They were handed over to the lawyer of the suspect Mahmut Deniz. These minutes have been signed at the site.” 

What can be said now? “The children died but we saved the meat.”

I hope you choke on those 35 kilos of meat.

January/18/2017

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