Turkish prosecutors previously rejected complaint over removal of columns in quake-hit building

It has come to light that Turkish prosecutors had previously rejected a criminal complaint over the removal of columns at a housing estate in 2016 in Hatay province, where 104 people died due to last week's major quakes.

Duvar English

It has come to light that Turkish prosecutors had previously rejected a complaint regarding the cutting of columns at a housing estate where 104 people died due to the Feb. 6 earthquakes in Hatay's Antakya district.

Owners of the Farklı Yaşam Rende housing estate in Hatay's Antakya district, the province with the highest number of casualties in the Maraş-based earthquakes, cut the columns in the basement in order to open space for a kindergarten, according to the reporting by the daily Cumhuriyet.

Lawyer Çoşkun Atılğan, who filed a criminal complaint over column cutting, later learned the prosecutors rejected his complaint.

He stated that they also applied to the Antakya Municipality in 2016, along with families living in the building, to deny a license for the kindergarten, but relevant authorities did not even check the place for suitability. 

They also applied to the Hatay Directorate of Education and the Hatay Governor's Office, but nothing happened either.

Atılğan stated that “We filed a criminal complaint to the prosecutor's office, I went there myself three times, and we were not even testified.”

After the two major earthquakes that hit the province, two of the four blocks for which the lawyer Çoşkun Atılğan and families filed a criminal complaint were demolished entirely.

104 people lost their lives, and 27 people were rescued alive in the housing estate in question. 10 people under the rubble have not been rescued yet.  

As of Feb. 16, some 38,044 people have yet lost their lives, and approximately 108,068 others have been injured in two major earthquakes that struck southeastern Turkey early on Feb. 6.

While thousands of buildings has been demolished or damaged in the quakes, thousands of people had to left their homes.