Elevator accidents persist in Turkish state dorms week after fatal incident

An elevator in a state-run dormitory in Turkey’s northern Rize province abruptly fell to the ground with students inside, a week after a deadly lift accident in another state-run dorm. At least two other accidents occurred after the fatal incident, and students have continued to protest negligence in state dorms.

Duvar English

An elevator on Nov. 5 crashed to the ground at a state-run university dormitory of the Student Loans and Dormitories Institution (KYK) in northern Rize province with students inside. None of the students were injured and one of them was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

This was at least the third accident that occurred approximately one week after the fatal elevator accident in another dorm in western Aydın province. After 22-year-old Zeren Ertaş was killed in the accident, students launched country-wide protests against the detrimental living conditions in state dormitories. 

After the latest accident in Rize province, students evacuated the dormitory and protested against the negligence in the dormitories.

Rize Governor, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University rector, and the provincial director of the Youth and Sport Ministry came to the dormitory after the incident. Addressing the students in front of the building, the governor said that he met with student representatives and that those responsible for the accident would be dismissed.

Previously, Youth and Sports Minister Osman Aşkın Bak labeled the student protests as "provocation.” Nonetheless, students have been using social media platforms to share unhygienic conditions in dormitories and cafeterias and food poisoning incidents that they have been experiencing every day.

According to a 2022 report published by the Court of Accounts on the Youth and Sports Ministry, it was determined that the fire extinguishing and detection systems, ventilation systems, along lift qualifications were not suitable for dormitories in 169 buildings or blocks countrywide.

The ministry also made serious changes in the dormitories to increase the capacity amid the students’ accommodation crisis at the beginning of the new academic year in September without building new dormitories. Critics asserted that the crowded dormitories created severe problems for the health and security of the residents.