Istanbul court sentences three people in Haydarpaşa Station fire case
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Hürriyet PhotoThe final hearing into a fire that broke out at Istanbul’s historic Haydarpaşa Station in 2010 during an isolation project was held on Dec. 6, with three people found guilty on charges of “recklessly causing the fire and risking the general safety.”
Two workers, Zafer Ateş and Hüseyin Doğan, and the owner of the company that conducted the isolation project, Hüseyin Kaboğlu, have been sentenced to 10 months in prison. The court ruled out suspending the sentences because the crime was committed against a historic building due to serious negligence and the damage had not been covered yet.
Two engineers from the Turkish State Railways (TCDD), and one of the owners of the company, who were also tried in the same case, have been acquitted.
There were reportedly four expert’s reports into the incident, with one of them saying a cigarette stub could have been the cause of the fire, while the others said the flames broke out because of a failure from electric contact, one of the suspects’ lawyers pointed out during the trail, claiming the reason was still unknown.
The isolation project on the roof would cost 481,000 Turkish Liras and this amount of money would have been spent in any case, even if the fire did had not broken out, another lawyer reportedly said in the defense, saying the job of the TCDD engineers had already ended before the fire.
Built by the German-owned Anatolian-Baghdad Railway and designed by architects Otto Ritter and Helmuth Conu, the historic Haydarpaşa Railway Station is an iconic landmark in Istanbul and a symbolic gateway to the city, on its Asian coastline. In January 2012, the station closed to allow for the construction of a high-speed rail line between Istanbul and Ankara. As part of plans for transportation in the greater region, the development of the area around the station is still in its formative stages, and the future use of the station has yet to be determined.