Second Hearing of Isias Case Today

Families of those who died at the Isias Hotel
[Families of those who died at the Isias Hotel]
The second hearing for the Isias Hotel case is being held today at the Adıyaman 3rd Heavy Penal Court starting at 10am. Before the trial, around 100 people, including families of the Champion Angels and the guides who died at the hotel, gathered in front of the Adıyaman Courthouse, Yeniduzen reports.

A total of 72 people were killed, including a school party of 35 Turkish Cypriots, when the Isias Hotel in Adıyaman, where they were staying, collapsed following two massive earthquakes that struck Turkey on 6 February 2023.

Ruşen Karakaya, speaking on behalf of the Champion Angels Survivors Association, highlighted that they’ve been separated from their loved ones for 445 days and emphasised their determination to continue the fight until the perpetrators are held accountable. Karakaya stressed their sole expectation from Turkey’s justice system: that those responsible for the Isias tragedy must face consequences for their actions. He pointed out that reports have revealed the hotel collapsed in just 17 seconds, indicating clear faults and identifying the culprits. Karakaya urged the Adıyaman 3rd Heavy Penal Court to act accordingly.

Furthermore, Karakaya stated their demands for the continuation of detention, prosecution of implicated public officials, and the need for a new scientifically sound report separate from the one provided by Gazi University, which they deemed inconsistent with scientific facts.

In a separate article, Yeniduzen reports that the first defendant to be heard this morning was Ahmet Bozkurt. The judge asked Bozkurt if he wanted to add anything to his defence. Bozkurt stated in court, “I reject the accusations against me. There were errors in calculating the construction and concrete quality. I maintain that my team, including engineers and architects, did their job accurately. I refute the findings“.

When questioned by the judge about the basic report blaming him, Bozkurt replied, “I disagree. I ensured thorough material usage since the hotel’s construction began in 1993“.

Other defendants, as in the previous hearing, also denied the accusations. Erdem Yıldız, the architect responsible for the construction of the Isias, defended the practices implemented during the construction  of the hotel and stated that there was no structural error in the building., “I’m only responsible for post-2002 manufacturing. There were irregularities in licensing but no technical faults“. Yıldız argued, “This trial will set a precedent for experts. The building’s technical aspects absolve anyone from blame. Additional floors comply with the project, with no illegal floors“.

Halil Bağcı a construction engineer, reiterated his previous statements, stating, “I don’t accept the Gazi University report findings“.

[As of 2018, the Turkish government eased regulations on building safety standards to encourage more construction. Ed.]


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