Defendant in the case of Rıza Bey Apartment: They destroyed the building

In the 6.6 magnitude earthquake that occurred on October 30, 2020, off the coast of Seferihisar in the Aegean Sea, 115 people lost their lives; In the 8-storey Rıza Bey Apartment in Bayraklı district, 36 people lost their lives and 17 were injured. In the investigation launched after the earthquake, a lawsuit was filed against 9 people, 4 of whom were detained, at the İzmir 5th High Criminal Court, with a request for up to 20 years in prison for the crime of ‘causing the death and injury of more than one person by conscious negligence’. During the trial, 2 more defendants were released. The files of the dentist polyclinic owners Arda Hacarlıoğlu and Onur Yedikara and the flat owners Selma and Ender Ensari in the Rıza Bey Apartment, for which an indictment was prepared on the charge of “causing the death of 6 people and the injury of 2 people by conscious negligence” following the investigation opened with the complaint of the defendant’s lawyers, are also available. merged with the case and the number of defendants increased to 13.


On the other hand, a lawsuit was filed in İzmir 13th Criminal Court of First Instance against Gamze E. (52) who had signed as the deputy director of science affairs of Bayraklı Municipality at that time, and Mehmet Ali U. (69), former Zoning Director of Bornova Municipality, on charges of ‘abuse of office’. . The 23rd Penal Chamber of the Izmir Regional Court of Justice unanimously decided to combine both files. Thus, the number of defendants in the Rıza Bey Apartment case increased to 15.

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The trial of the defendants continued today at the 5th High Criminal Court. The detained defendants, architect ASB and building contractor HHÖ., attended the hearing through the Audio and Visual Information System (SEGBİS). Some pending defendants, lawyers of the parties and complainants were also present in the hall. At the hearing, the defendants were given the floor after the demands of the lawyers were received.


In his defense, the former Zoning Director of Bornova Municipality, Mehmet Ali U., claimed that there were inaccuracies in the expert reports. Stating that it was mentioned that the static calculations related to the demolition of the building and the people who approved it in the municipality were responsible, Mehmet Ali U. said, “There is no missing document and project in the file. This is already in the records. The zoning manager has to give a license to the project that is not missing. “The projects are licensed. The zoning manager decides that the documents are complete,” he said.


Arrested defendant building contractor HHÖ. He stated that he did not start any work incomplete in any of the projects he carried out in Istanbul, and that Rızabey Apartment is the 34th building. Claiming that he was not responsible for the demolition of the building, HHÖ. said, “There are a lot of renovations in the building. We spent our lives in construction. They say ‘primary school graduates’, but we came from the construction. We made a lot of people apartment owners. They did everything in the building, there is no place left untouched. Epoxy is made. “There’s also a sheathing on it. I shouldn’t be held responsible for this building. It’s been 30 years. The buildings we’ve built since 1976 haven’t been demolished, but this is it? I built the building completely. They said to ‘evacuate” the building, but they didn’t. They put a sheathing on the cracked building. “I have been here for almost 3 years. I want my release and acquittal.”

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The arrested accused architect, ASB, stated that he was not a partner of the architecture company mentioned in the construction of the building, and that he was not responsible for the construction of the building, and said, “After I resigned from the architecture firm, the construction continues. I did not receive 1 lira for this project. I did not take responsibility for this work. The building was riddled with holes. “It was recommended that it be demolished or strengthened. Most of the homeowners were aware of the building and left the building. I am not at all guilty of the sad incident that happened in this building. I should not be the scapegoat here. I have been in prison for 2.5 years. I am not able to stand it. I want my release and acquittal.”

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A lawyer for a complainant (victim) who took the floor at the hearing stated that Gamze E., who was the Deputy Director of Science Affairs of Bayraklı Municipality at the time of the earthquake, was “protected by the court”, “the additional defense was not received despite the change in his criminal nature”, “the two defendants were not given an additional defense”. He claimed that he was not treated. Thereupon, the presiding judge adjourned the hearing for a while. In the hearing that followed, the presiding judge stated that they did not accept the claim of the defendant’s lawyer that the defendant was protected by the court committee, and requested that the file be sent to the Izmir 6th High Criminal Court, which is a higher court, for consideration as a ‘rejection committee request’ because there was doubt about its impartiality, and that the defendants were detained. decided to continue.

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