Istanbul University students demand renovated building
Eyüp Serbest – ISTANBUL
Students of the Istanbul University Faculty of Dentistry have been holding a protest since last week, demanding that their building is analyzed and renovated due to the appearance of fractures in the structure in the aftermath of the 5.8-magnitude earthquake.
On Sept. 27, with the attendance of all students, a sit-in protest was held in front of the faculty. Students held banners reading, “We do not want gravestones, but instead a graduation certificate” and “We do not want to work and study in coffins.”
The Sept. 26 earthquake created serious fractures in the faculty building located in the Fatih district. According to some student allegations, the university management attempted to cover the fractures with plaster and paint them over.
The dean’s office later released a statement saying, “The building will be strengthened. We are looking for another building to be used temporarily,” but it did not satisfy the students. The demand of the students is that experts from a prestigious university take a field study at their building and release a report.
Students submitted a petition to the dean’s office that they will not attend the classes and see any patients at the building unless their demand is met.
Students have been sharing photos of their damaged building on social media with various tags.
Not only the dentistry faculty students, but also the university’s veterinary faculty, business administration faculty and engineering faculty students attending classes at the Avcılar campus are scared to enter their buildings in the aftermath of the quake. They have been sharing photos of their buildings on social media, demanding that an analysis is undertaken.
The Avcılar campus was also damaged during the 1999 Marmara earthquake. In the 1999 earthquake, destruction in Istanbul was concentrated in Avcılar as the district is built on relatively weak ground mainly composed of poorly-consolidated sedimentary rocks, which makes this district vulnerable to earthquakes.
An academic at the Avcılar campus said: “The damages at the buildings were known [by the authorities, due to the 1999 earthquake]. There were [renovation] plans about these building, but since there was no budget, they were always postponed.”