The 12th hearing of the case regarding the Çorlu train massacre, which took place on July 8, 2018 in the Çorlu district of Tekirdağ, in which 25 people, including 7 children, lost their lives and 318 people were injured, was held at Çorlu Public Education Center today. The case was adjourned to March 21, 2023. There were tense moments after the interim decision.
Before the hearing, the families gathered in the Bulvar Yolu Santral Işıklar area. Families carried photos of their relatives who lost their lives in the train massacre. Families marching to the venue, accompanied by banners reading “We want justice”, chanted “Right, law, justice, murder, not accident”.
“WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN FROM UNDER THE SOIL”
Mısra Öz, who lost her son Oğuz Arda Sel and her husband Hakan Sel in the massacre, reacted to the arrest and release of TCDD 1st Region Railway Regional Maintenance Manager Mümin Karasu in her speech in front of the courtroom.
Öz said, “We have been loving our children from under the ground for 5 years. We carry the banners and names of the murderers in our hands at every trial. We lost our children as a result of those who are responsible, those who do business without knowing their responsibilities. We will not give up on our cause. If we are here today, all our efforts are so that your children are not in the grave tomorrow. Unless the murderers are held accountable, we will continue to lose our loved ones and you will continue to lose your loved ones. “We will be here until we stop protecting those responsible,” he said.
WE WILL AWAKEN JUSTICE”
Zeliha Bilgin, who lost her siblings, niece and daughter in the massacre, said, “Justice is sleeping. Justice continues to obey, but as long as we are here, we will awaken justice. One day we will be right in this just cause,” she said.
REJECTED THE CHARGES
All the defendants were present at the 12th hearing of the case. The case started with the statements of TCDD 1st Regional Director Nihat Aslan. Stating that there are 11 Service Directorates under him, Aslan said, “My duty is to ensure coordination between the services in the region.” Denying the accusations against him, Aslan stated that he was in charge of administrative affairs and was not responsible for the technical part. After Aslan, TCDD 1st Regional Deputy Manager Levent Muammer Meriçli’s statement was made. Meriçli stated in his interrogation that he did not have the authority to supervise.
“I DON’T KNOW”
Giving information about the spending authority of the institution, Meriçli said, “Information about the works to be tendered is received. An allowance is also taken for maintenance and repair works. The Regional Manager is authorized to tender, but the General Manager makes the approval.
Informing that Mümin Karasu is not an engineer in line with a question asked by Lawyer Ersin Albuz, Meriçli said, “He was taken by proxy. “It’s not my job to object to the requirement to be an engineer for his appointment,” he said. Meriçli said, “I don’t know what kind of problem there is before the accident happens.”
“I HAVE BEEN TARGET”
After Meriçli, TCDD 1st Maintenance Service Manager Mümin Karasu spoke. Karasu stated that before the accident, the Railway Maintenance Directorate was warned at least twice and said, “I was targeted”.
Karasu said, “It is not possible for the Service Directorates to physically monitor the works in the field alone” and added, “While I have fulfilled my duty by writing warning letters, I am being tried by ‘conscious negligence’. However, the Railway Maintenance Manager and lower ranks are on trial by ‘simple negligence’. The bureaucracy burden of the Railway Maintenance Service Directorates is high. Hierarchically, the Department, the Branch Offices responsible for the infrastructure responsible for the superstructure, the Regional Manager, the Maintenance Service Manager, the Maintenance Service Deputy Managers are parties to this event. It is the responsibility of the Maintenance Directorate to take precautions by making necessary checks at critical points of the train railway during seasonal transitions. Karasu denied the accusations and said, “Despite the warnings I have made, those who must fulfill their duties are not prosecuted.”
Tension broke out in the courthouse corridor when the lawyers of the defendants threw words at the families who lost their relatives while the hearing was suspended for the interim decision.
The interim decision was announced at the hearing. The case was adjourned to March 21, 2023. It was decided to continue the judicial control measures against the defendants.