One student dies as elevator falls in state-run dorm in Turkey, sparking outrage

One university student died in Turkey’s Aegean province of Aydın as the elevator of a state-run KYK dormitory fell. The incident stirred a huge reaction among public as it showed the amount of negligence in the state-run dorms. The students staying in the dorm shouted “Killer KYK” in a protest, adding they warned the management several times regarding the elevator.

Duvar English

One university student died on Oct. 26 after the elevator fell in a state-run dormitory of the Student Loans and Dormitories Institution (KYK) in the western province of Aydın.

The elevator in which 16 people were riding fell from the upper floors, and senior student Zeren Ertaş got stuck and died while trying to get out of the elevator, Demirören News Agency reported.

In a move to defend the dormitory management, Aydın Governor Yakup Canbolat told state-run Anadolu Agency that 16 people got into the 15-passenger elevator, and that the elevator started to slide before the door closed while it was on the first floor.

“There is no problem with the health of the 15 students. The judicial and administrative investigation on the issue is being carried out by the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. Unfortunately, we lost one of our students,” he added.

He also argued that the last check on the elevator was conducted on Sept. 21, “but in any case, we are also initiating an administrative investigation.”

Students staying in the dorm protested the management and shouted “Killer KYK” and “Not an accident, but murder,” adding they warned the management several times regarding the elevator. 

The police, on the other hand, attacked the students protesting the negligence of the dormitory management.

Another group of students protested the negligence in Aydın’s Atatürk City Square.

Youth and Sports Ministry announced that they suspended the dormitory manager and assigned an inspector regarding the incident.

In a video, a student staying in the dormitory said, "We were warned not to record (the incident) on video, and moreover, we were locked in here. They are trying to ensure that we do not speak out. The elevator we had been warning about for days finally fell. Our lives are now in danger (in addition to eating) food with worms in it. We warned them a lot, we all said so. But this elevator was never fixed. They are even trying to prevent us from taking pictures. Hear our voice now.”

“We complained for months about the elevator, but none of them paid any attention, and most of us used the stairs instead of the elevator. Because they said ‘use the stairs (instead)’,” another student said.

In later hours on the same day, students once again gathered in the city square, protesting the negligence of the dormitory management and lack of supervision by the government.