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Families of Cypriot children killed in earthquake demand charges of intentional killing

feature esra rescuers in the rubble of the isias hotel
File photo: Rescuers in the rubble of the Isias hotel

The families of the 24 Cypriot children killed when the Isias hotel in Adiyaman, Turkey, collapsed, have demanded those held criminally responsible for the deaths be charged with intentionally killing all 24 children.

The hotel collapsed during the two earthquakes which hit the southeast of the country in February. As well as the 24 Turkish Cypriot children, 42 others, including teaching staff, were also killed when the hotel collapsed.

An announcement regarding indictments in Turkey is expected in the coming days.

Lawyer Pervin Aksoy, whose daughter Serin was among those killed, asked “are 66 lives only worth 22 and a half years?”

“You stole everything from us, our whole life is over. Everything has been shattered, our lives are lost, how can you think of getting away with such a light punishment? Don’t even try to imagine how I feel, longing for my daughter for a lifetime, pursuing you for a lifetime, everywhere, all the time,” she added.

Cigdem Sabanci, whose son Mustafa was also among those killed, called on the public to back their calls for those responsible to be tried with killing intentionally, saying “do not be silent, do not forget, do not forgive!”

Safiye Cevik, whose daughter Nehir was also among those killed, said “whoever is responsible and signed off on the Isias, you are to blame for what happened. You will be tried for killing with intent, justice will be served.”

Recent scientific reports into the hotel building showed that sand and gravel from a river had been used to construct it and that a whole floor had been added to the top of the building without the relevant licences being obtained.

Another report showed that supporting columns at the hotel had been “cut”.

Following the release of that report, Oguzhan Hasipoglu, chairman of the north’s political affairs ‘parliamentary’ committee, told the families of those killed that “we always said a murder was committed at the Isias hotel.”

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