A parliamentary delegation headed by Prime Minister Ünal Üstel was in Adıyaman, Türkiye on Thursday to follow up on the ongoing judicial process regarding the İsias Hotel which collapsed during the February 6 earthquake killing 35 members of the Gazimağusa Turk Maarif College Volleyball squad.
The delegation which also conducted inspections at the site where the İsias Hotel once stood also gave a testimony to the Turkish Republic’s Prosecutor’s Office as part of the investigation.
Speaking to the press, Prime Minister Üstel said that they desired a speedy trial for those responsible.
The delegation returned to the country via Istanbul last night.
The TRNC delegation, led by Prime Minister Üstel, included the leader of the main Opposition Republican Turkish Party, Tufan Erhürman, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Culture, Youth, and Environment Fikri Ataoğlu, the Minister of National Education Nazım Çavuşoğlu, the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dursun Oğuz, the Chairman of the Temporary and Special Parliamentary Committee tasked with monitoring the legal and judicial process related to the earthquake Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu, the General Secretary of the Rebirth Party Talip Atalay, National Unity Party MP Hüseyin Çavuş, lawyers, and advisors.
Prime Minister Ünal Üstel and his accompanying delegation were greeted at the Adıyaman Airport by Governor Ali Mantı, Police Director İbrahim Ergüder, and the Consul of the TRNC in Gaziantep, Fatma Mallıdağ Demirel.
Speaking to the press at the governor’s office, Üstel recalled that 49 people from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus lost their lives in the earthquakes that occurred on February 6, centred in Kahramanmaraş.
He pointed out that the most tragic loss of life was the secondary school volleyball players and teachers from the Gazimağusa Türk Maarif College who perished following the collapse of the İsias Hotel in Adıyaman.
Üstel stated, “Our grief is immense, the grief of the Republic of Türkiye is immense, we share the pain of the Turkish nation. We are in Adıyaman once again to follow up on the investigation of the children we lost at this hotel. From the moment the earthquake occurred, as the TRNC government and parliament, we scrambled all our means to Adıyaman to assist in search and rescue operations. Unfortunately we were only able to bring back their bodies and give them a proper burial in the TRNC.”
Üstel also expressed the government’s desire for the swift conclusion of the legal process.
“I want to expedite the necessary efforts for the speedy conclusion of the İsias Hotel case. We came here today with our colleagues because we will be following up on the legal case concerning those responsible. Again, we have come here with our delegation to closely monitor the progress and future of this case through the testimonies of our colleagues.”
For his part Adıyaman’s coordinating governor, Ali Mantı, pointed out that Prime Minister Üstel has been following the legal process from the very beginning.
Government officials who participated in the search and rescue efforts at the İsias Hotel wreckage also provided statements to the Office of the Public Prosecutor regarding the İsias Hotel.
Among the TRNC delegation in Adıyaman and actively involved in search and rescue operations during the earthquake were Minister of National Education Nazım Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dursun Oğuz, MPs Hüseyin Çavuş and Talip Atalay, Chief Judge of the Lefkoşa Criminal Court Fadıl Aksun, Director of the Secondary Education Department Cengiz Uzun, and Undersecretary of the State Planning Organization Durali Güçlüsoy.