1993 Sivas sabotage is massacre: Turkish presidency

Photo: 1993 Sivas sabotage is massacre: Turkish presidency / Turkey

The 1993 Sivas incident, where 37 mostly Alevi artists and leftist intellectuals died when their hotel was deliberately set alight by protesters in Sivas in central Anatolia, has been declared a massacre by the Turkish presidency on Tuesday Anadolu Agency reported

The State Auditing Board (DDK)'s report, which was released on the Turkish presidency's official website on Tuesday, found grave negligence by the state in the handling of the incident at Madimak hotel in Savas in central Anatolia on July 2, 1993.

Extremists set alight the Madimak hotel where a cultural festival took place with Alevi intellectuals and artists gathered. Alevism follows a different religious path but has many parallels with Shiism.

"Unfortunately, everybody preferred to put the 'whole blame' on various groups or communities. This was due to a lack of capacity to do an effective legal and administrative investigation on the public officers as well as insufficient standards of democracy regarding political responsibility," it said in the DDK's report.

According to the report, Turkey failed to take adequate safety precautions in the region to prevent this social crisis that could have been clearly anticipated considering the profile of the demonstrators and the conservative region in which the incident took place.

"Neither members of the provincial police forces nor any state officials who were responsible for the city security faced any judicial investigation or even disciplinary action for neglect in the indicent," it said.

The report also said that there was no evidence the event was realized as a result of the perpetrators' provocation.

Thirty seven people had died in the fire, including two hotel staff.

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