56 percent of dormitories in Istanbul inconvenient: Commission
ISTANBULSome 56 percent of dormitory buildings in Istanbul are inconvenient, a parliamentary commission, which was set up after a dormitory fire on Nov. 29, 2016 in the southern province of Adana’s Aladağ district killed 12 people, said March 9, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The commission led by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Adana lawmaker Fatma Güldemet Sarı said there had been cases of fire in 811 dormitory buildings since 2005, leaving 19 people injured.
Atillah Eleşkirtli, the deputy manager of Istanbul Municipality Fire Department and a member of the commission, said they determined that 56 percent of all dormitory buildings in Istanbul failed to provide health and safety, after receiving 282 cases of demand for investigation from private and public dormitories.
Eleşkirtli said 50 percent of the fires erupted from electric heaters, 44 percent of them occurred due to mishandled fire hazard sources, and that 6 percent of the incidents occurred due to blocked pipes.
He said only 12 percent of the dormitories were identified as fully suitable for housing.
Eleşkirtli said the inconveniences in dormitories were not only related to negligence, but also to do with failing to take measures such as providing fire escapes and fire cabinets.
Mahmut Esat Gürses, an auditor for the Turkish Interior Ministry, said public associations could only be inspected once in two years, saying that they only inspected 7,026 associations last year.
Gürses also said the Aladağ dormitory, which was founded by the Aladağ Students Charity in 1978, was closed down by the Education Ministry indefinitely.
Turkey’s Forensics Institution, in a complete expert report on the fire in the Aladağ girls’ dormitory, found three people directly at fault and four indirectly at fault in the fire.
The report, issued upon a prosecutor’s demand, initially revealed that there was major negligence and that out of the seven suspects arrested after the fire, three were directly at fault in the deadly incident.
Following the report, the lawyers of four suspects who bore indirect fault - identified only as Ramazan D., Ramazan K., Mustafa Ö. and Mahir K. - demanded their release and on Jan. 23 an Adana court ordered their release pending trial.
An Adana court later on Feb. 6 ordered the arrest of the four suspects.