Public institutions’ rift halts demolition of unhealthy school building in Istanbul
Ercan Sarıkaya ISTANBUL/Radikal
Radikal PhotoTwo years of red tape over the demolition of a non-earthquake-proof primary school in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district is jeopardizing the lives of 360 students, daily Radikal has reported.
Semiha Şakir Primary School, which was found to be non-earthquake ready two years ago, cannot be torn down due to objections from the Family and Social Policies Ministry’s Provincial Directorate, which has its Kadıköy Family Consultation Center building within the school’s yard.
With both the school and the directorate refusing to take a step back, students are continuing to attend classes despite fears of an earthquake.
Both public institutions have been exchanging official letters since the conflict erupted two years ago – after the directorate’s objection to a plan that foresees the demolition of both buildings – but no result has been obtained.
An official from the Family and Social Policies Provincial Directorate said they needed the four-room building and that there was no obstacle to demolishing only the school building and reconstructing it.
“They are worrying that the yard will be small. But our building serves the elderly and people with disabilities. If the building will be removed, these elderly people and people with disabilities will be forced to go to the European side. The land that the school is on was already ours. However, it turns out that they changed the plan without our knowledge and paved the way for the school’s construction,” the representative told daily Radikal on the phone.
Officials from the Kadıköy Education Directorate also confirmed the deadlock, while highlighting the necessity of finding a solution.
“Unfortunately, the school building cannot be demolished. On the other hand, student numbers are rising. We don’t know what to do about the issue. The school building doesn’t fit in the new project,” an official said.