Turkish Cypriot ‘MP’ and head of the north’s ‘parliamentary’ justice committee Oguzhan Hasipoglu made an extraordinary intervention to reporters on Friday regarding the trial of those held responsible for the collapse of the Isias hotel in Adiyaman, Turkey.

The hotel collapsed during last February’s earthquakes in the region, and killed 35 Turkish Cypriots, 24 of whom were children. A total of 11 people are on trial for the deaths of the Turkish Cypriots and others at the hotel, with the trial having begun on Wednesday at Adiyaman’s third High criminal court.

Chastising the defendants outside the courthouse, Hasipoglu said, “the defendants are literally spreading lies in court. While the 11 defendants were all lying to our faces, the hotel owner, his family, and scientific writers were acting like monkeys.”

“Let’s list the monkeys as follows: the architect says he didn’t sign off on the hotel’s construction, and even if he did, he signed it by mistake. The engineer says there was no signature on the report submitted to the Adiyaman municipality, and if there was a signature, I do not know whose it is.”

“No one knows who presented the project to the municipality … If the engineer did not prepare the report, and a construction permit was obtained, this would be a serious case of forgery,” he said.

“There is a construction permit, but the name of the contractor is not mentioned. At the same time, it is obvious that the extra floor was assessed illegally … [hotel owner] Ahmet Bozkurt first says he constructed the building himself and then says he is not a contractor,” he added.

He went on to castigate the fact that Bozkurt’s family members were on the hotel’s board of directors despite “having no idea” about the legal processes required regarding hotel safety and the zoning amnesty which legalised the hotel’s extra floor.

He also criticised the defendants for a perceived lack of remorse for the hotel’s collapse, and said Ahmet Bozkurt is “a liar who has no conscience”.

“When I went to the rubble of the Isias hotel, I could see that the buildings to the right, left, and behind it were all still standing. Even the narrowest mind can tell that a murder was committed at the Isias hotel, the only hotel which collapsed in Adiyaman,” he said.

Friday’s proceedings in court consisted of a chain of witnesses describing a haphazard web of command and various eyebrow-raising decisions which had been taken during the course of the hotel’s running.

One witness said he had “never seen” the hotel’s extra ninth floor as it was closed, while another witness seemed to change his opinion about which direction the hotel collapsed.

The tenth witness of the day, a construction worker who worked during the hotel’s construction in 1992, said the building had initially been intended to be a house, but then was converted into a nine-storey hotel.

He also corroborated the Karadeniz Technical University’s report that sand and gravel from a river had been used in the hotel’s construction.

Speaking on Friday evening, the north’s ‘deputy prime minister’ Fikri Ataoglu accused the witnesses of “trying to protect” the Bozkurt family, while ‘MP’ Aysegul Baybars called them “biased”.