Victims of Adana dormitory fire subjected to violence: Report
İsmail Saymaz - ISTANBUL
DHA photoThe students at a girls’ dormitory in which a fire killed 12 people on Nov. 29 in Adana were subjected to violence and forced to do cleaning in the facility, according a report prepared by the Social Rights Association (SHD).
The association prepared a report about the deadly dormitory fire after interviewing the parents of eight children who were killed in the blaze.
The families were reportedly forced to send their children to the dormitory because there was no other dormitory in the district.
The state dormitory in Aladağ was demolished because the building was in “decay,” according to the report.
In fact, the “decay” report was reportedly given for public housing near the dormitory, the report stated.
Meanwhile, some of the families believed the dormitory they sent their daughters belonged to the state.
“The district directorate of education directed students to this dormitory after the state’s dormitory was demolished,” stated the report.
The families repeatedly requested that officials construct a new dormitory but were unable to convince them to do so.
“The families who met many state officials, including the district governor, requested a new dormitory many times, but these requests went unfulfilled. The parents were forced to send their children to this dormitory, which was treated as a state dormitory by officials due to [the families’] poverty,” the report stated.
Moreover, parents also told the SHD that a fuse had blown while they were washing dishes but that dormitory officials took no further precautions despite being notified of the incident.
The students were reportedly receiving religious education for many hours. Officials of the dormitory did not allow them to study other subjects, saying the “girls’ studies were already a sin,” it said.
Some fathers of the children were not allowed to enter the dormitory building because they were men, the report said.
Eleven children and one adult were killed, while 24 others were injured in the fire. While inspections and investigations continue over the deadly blaze, early reports suggested 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 the late 1950s.