Defendants of TÜPRAŞ refinery blast released

Defendants of TÜPRAŞ refinery blast that happened on October 11, 2017, were released on the court hearing on February 13
Wednesday, 14 February 2018 05:25


A total of 8 defendants, 5 of which had been jailed pending trial, appeared before the court on February 13. All the defendants are released and the court is abated.

Four workers were killed and two injured on October 11, 2017, when an explosion rocked an oil refinery in western Turkey. The explosion occurred during maintenance work on a product tank at the TÜPRAŞ, Turkey's only oil refiner which is owned by Koç industrial holding company. 


Bedrettin Karataş, the manager of the subcontracting firm Beka Project at the refinery, the operation safety specialist Esfet Bilici, montage works foreman Ali Battal, and construction site manager Muhammet Hulusi Gözüak had been arrested before.

At the court hearing, none of the defendants claimed the allegations regarding the authorisation of welding works of platform montage outside the oil tank that caused the fire and blast at the tank.

The operations safety manager Esfet Bilici testified that he permitted works involving fire risks only outside the oil tanks. While montage works foreman Ali Battal testified that the construction site manager Gözüak gave them the orders, Gözüak denied allegations and said: "TÜPRAŞ managers gave them the orders."

The court ruled that a new expert opinion report prepared regarding the blast and that the defendants are to be released.

The court also said that the relatives of the dead workers did not filed a complaint and their losses have been reimbursed. 


The owner of the refinery, Koç Holding tries to decline any responsibility for the explosion Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) had said after the occupational murders. "It is not technical dysfunction, but the capital's greed to make more profit," the party said in the statement.

"The maintenance needed for the storage tank was rushed and safety measures were ignored", the statement underlined. Since the workers were forced to work under these unsafe conditions, the explosion cannot be regarded as an accident. Our worker brothers were killed only because the Koç family wants to profit 2, 3 and 10 times more," it said.