Student forced to give false testimony on deadly dormitory fire in Adana: Report
REUTERS photoAn official from the Aladağ District Governor’s Office in Adana attempted to force a survivor of a deadly dormitory fire last week to fabricate her testimony, according to the girl’s father.
“[District office official] Y.D. and his lawyer, Mümtaz Hasan Şahin, approached me outside the prosecutor’s office and aggressively told my daughter [Y.K.] to say the fire exit doors were open during the fire,” the girl’s father told daily Cumhuriyet.
“I got angry at the lawyer and said, ‘My daughter will say whatever is true.’ This lawyer tried to change my daughter’s statements,” he said.
According to survivors and an expert report, the door to the fire escape did not open because it did not have a handle and because the door, which was ostensibly designed to withstand a fire for 90 minutes, quickly failed because it was made of plastic.
The father said his daughter had a near-death experience in the fire, which is why he filed a complaint against the suspects and refused to negotiate in any deal that would lessen their sentences.
Eleven children and one adult were killed, while 24 others were injured in the dormitory fire. While inspections and investigations continue over the deadly blaze, early reports suggest that major negligence caused the fire to erupt.
The dorm was reportedly run by the Süleymancılar, a conservative religious group that evolved out of the Naqshbandi Sufi order, but has focused on religious education since late 1950’s.