25 people accused of reckless killing of 10 workers at Istanbul construction site

25 people accused of reckless killing of 10 workers at Istanbul construction site

Eyüp Serbest ISTANBUL
25 people accused of reckless killing of 10 workers at Istanbul construction site

DHA Photo

Details of the 31-page indictment about the elevator accident that killed 10 workers at the Torun Center construction site in central Istanbul have been revealed.

The accident occurred on Sept. 6 when the elevator the workers were using plunged to the ground from the 32th floor.

While charges against the top board members of Torunlar GYO have been dropped, a total of 25 people, including 12 Torunlar GYO employees, five people from the elevator maintenance company, and eight people from the workplace safety company are facing charges that could lead to between four and 22.5 years in jail.

Eight families of the workers killed in the accident have accepted money and withdrawn their complaints against the company.

The indictment prepared by Istanbul Public Prosecutor Erdal Bağcı is yet to be accepted as a case before the court, but did not press charges against nine people including three Torunlar GYO senior executives, the company’s accounting manager, purchasing manager, the Torun Center’s project coordinator and the company’s three occupational health and safety specialists.

The prosecutor wrote in his explanation that an additional decision had been reached for these nine people that there were no grounds for prosecution for “reckless killing of 10 people” and for “affecting the people pursuing jurisdiction” charges.

Some 12 employees of Torunlar GYO, including Vice General Manager Remzi Aydın and the project manager responsible for the whole project Murat Aytimur, five employees from the GEDA Major Elevator Company including the company’s partner Orhan Demirel, and eight employees from the NCA workplace safety company including the Work Safety Specialist and Project Supervisor Mert Çanakçı, are among the 25 people who are accused on charges of the reckless killing of 10 people.

Torun Center is being built on the former site of the Turkish football club Galatasaray’s Ali Sami Yen Stadium in Şişli’s Mecidiyeköy neighborhood. The elevator malfunctioned due to an unknown reason while the workers were trying to leave the site at around 7:45 p.m. on Sept. 6 after the completion of their shift.

Mustafa Tanrıverdi, the lawyer of deceased worker Bilal Bal’s family, said Torunlar GYO had offered the family money, which they accepted and withdrew their complaints.

“All of the responsibility belongs to the elevator company. A reasonable amount of money was paid.  A peace protocol was signed, the money was received,” said Tanrıverdi, adding that eight other families had made a deal with Torunlar GYO.

Erdoğan İnce, the family lawyer of the deceased worker Murat Usta, said Usta's family was also offered 500,000 Turkish Liras, but had not accepted it. He said Torunlar GYO was offering families amounts of money that they could not resist, but the Usta family had turned it down and filed a suit for damages worth 820,000 liras.