Cablegate: May 5 Bingol Earthquake Update

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.






E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A) ANKARA 2840 B) ANKARA 2868

1. (U) Press sources put the toll from the Bingol
earthquake at 167 killed and 521 injuries. Rescue
operations were concluded on Sunday, May 4. At the
Celtiksuyu Boarding School, GOT rescue teams saved 114
students from the wreckage but 84 students and one
teacher were killed. Riots also appear to have ceased.

2. (U) The Turkish Red Crescent distributed 6500 tents in
the province, including 1100 tents disbursed to the
villages. Press reports state that 82 houses collapsed
and 1100 additional homes are in uninhabitable condition.

3. (U) The national press is full of stories suggesting
some of the damage - specifically the collapse of the
boarding school - was the result of shoddy construction,
which in turn is linked to corruption. An official from
the Turkish Chamber of Architects and Engineers, who went
to the site to look into these claims, is quoted as
saying the "placement of the building was wrong, the
construction techniques were wrong, and the concrete used
was extremely weak." Bingol Governor Huseyin Cos, one of
the main targets of last Friday's violent demonstrations,
has promised a full investigation into the school's
construction. Press reports quote Bulent Arinc, Turkish
Parliament Speaker, calling for the prosecution of those
responsible for the shoddy construction of the school.

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