News Trending

The initial trial related to the 2023 earthquake in Turkey has commenced, concentrating on the collapse of an Adiyaman hotel that resulted in 72 fatalities. The Isias Grand hotel in Adiyaman hosted a school volleyball team from Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus and a group of tourist guides during the earthquake, with 11 individuals charged for violating construction regulations. The earthquake, occurring on February 6, claimed over 50,000 lives in Turkey and Syria, causing the collapse or severe damage of 160,000 buildings and displacing 1.5 million people.

Charges have been brought against 11 people for breaching construction rules in connection with the collapse of the Isias Grand hotel in Adiyaman during last year’s earthquake. The hotel, which housed a school volleyball team from northern Cyprus and tourist guides, was one of the numerous buildings affected by the earthquake, resulting in significant casualties. The Turkish government initiated investigations, leading to the arrest of nearly 200 individuals, including construction contractors and property owners, for their roles in the disaster.

The trial began with the prosecution focusing on the Isias Grand hotel in Adiyaman, where a tragic incident unfolded during the earthquake last year. A group of 39 individuals, including students, teachers, and parents, had chosen the hotel for a volleyball tournament. The collapse of the hotel resulted in the loss of 35 lives from the group, with only four parents surviving. The trial has prompted the families of the victims to demand severe sentences for the accused individuals and the inclusion of charges against Turkish officials responsible for licensing the hotel.

The Isias Grand hotel, operational since 2001, faced allegations of construction malpractice, including the improper use of materials and unauthorized additional floors in 2016. The indictment revealed that gravel and sand from the local river were mixed with construction materials in the hotel’s columns. Families of the victims expressed outrage, accusing the Culture and Tourism Ministry of neglecting proper inspections despite granting the hotel a four-star rating, and they insisted on accountability for those responsible.

The extensive building collapses resulting from the earthquake stirred widespread criticism of the Turkish government for encouraging a construction boom without effectively enforcing building regulations. The trial has intensified calls for accountability, with grieving families emphasizing the need to charge those responsible for the Isias Hotel’s approval and urging justice for the lives lost. If found guilty, the 11 defendants could face prison terms ranging from two years and eight months to more than 22 years.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

Pope Francis delivered a Christmas Day message at St Peter’s Basilica, calling for an end to the war in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas. Expressing sorrow for the victims of the October 7 attack, he urgently appealed for the liberation of those still held hostage and pleaded for an end to military operations that result in innocent civilian casualties.

The Pope also emphasized the need for increased humanitarian aid to address the desperate situation in Gaza. He highlighted the appalling impact of the conflict and urged for a solution to the humanitarian crisis through the provision of necessary aid.

In addition to addressing the Israel-Hamas conflict, Pope Francis touched on other global conflicts. He called for peace in Ukraine, where the war with Russia has persisted for nearly two years. The Pope also expressed his prayers for political and social stability in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen—countries marked by prolonged periods of war and unrest.

Beyond specific regions, Pope Francis advocated for peaceful solutions to conflicts in various parts of the world, including Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as in different areas of Africa and on the Korean Peninsula. His message resonated with a plea for harmony and resolution in troubled spots across the globe.

In his address, Pope Francis extended his concerns to millions of migrants worldwide, highlighting their plight as “the little Jesuses of today.” He emphasized the challenges faced by migrants on perilous journeys undertaken in desperation and in search of hope, calling for compassion and understanding in addressing their struggles.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

Austria’s former Foreign Minister, Karin Kneissl, known for her pro-Russian stance, is relocating to St. Petersburg, Russia, accompanied by her two ponies.

Karin Kneissl had previously been residing in Lebanon but left her government position amid a scandal involving the far-right Austrian party that appointed her.

She explained that her ponies were transported to St. Petersburg via a Russian military transport plane from Syria.

Ms. Kneissl disclosed that her decision to move to Russia was driven by her role in managing a think tank at St. Petersburg University, which she co-founded. She emphasized the dedication required for this work and her inability to carry it out remotely.

When asked about her move to Russia’s second-largest city, she declined to provide further comment. However, on social media, she mentioned that her stay in Lebanon had been temporary “to survive” while she commuted to Russia for teaching.

Ms. Kneissl is renowned for her love of animals and cited sanctions against Syria and the security situation there as the reasons for using a military transport plane to bring her ponies and belongings to Russia.

The Leningrad region’s veterinary department confirmed that the ponies had undergone examinations and were placed in quarantine.

Karin Kneissl served as Austria’s Foreign Minister from 2017 to 2019, appointed as an independent by Austria’s far-right Freedom Party, which has close ties to Russia.

She gained international attention in 2018 when she invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to her wedding in southern Austria, with photographs showing her dancing with him.

Ms. Kneissl announced her move to Russia while attending the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, an annual event aimed at encouraging investment in Russia’s far east. During the forum, she was seen appearing to fall asleep while listening to President Putin’s keynote speech.

Karin Kneissl is a regular commentator on the Russian state-backed news channel RT and served as a board member of the state-owned oil company Rosneft.

She left Austria in 2020, citing death threats and a de facto ban on working in the country.

Her departure followed the collapse of the government coalition between the conservatives and the far-right Freedom Party in 2019, triggered by a scandal involving FPÖ leader Heinz Christian Strache, who was filmed allegedly promising government contracts to a woman posing as a niece of a Russian oligarch at a villa in Ibiza.

Currently, the Freedom Party is in opposition but leads in opinion polls, making it a strong contender in upcoming elections. Its new leader, Herbert Kickl, has criticized EU sanctions against Russia, blaming them for the rising cost of living.

Peter Gridling, Austria’s former spymaster from 2008 to 2020, expressed concerns about the Freedom Party’s ties with Russia and warned that the party had not severed its connections with the Kremlin.

Vienna, Austria’s capital, has a longstanding tradition as a hub for espionage, which persists to this day.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending War

Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was reportedly among the passengers aboard a Russian jet that crashed, resulting in the deaths of all 10 individuals on board. The crash occurred in the Tver region, northwest of Moscow. Social media linked to the Wagner mercenary group have suggested that Prigozhin’s private plane was shot down by Russian air defenses. The Grey Zone Telegram channel stated that Prigozhin died due to actions by traitors to Russia.

Prigozhin had previously led a failed mutiny against the Russian armed forces in June, though some experts believe the mutiny was staged, and he abandoned his “justice march” on Moscow after direct orders from President Vladimir Putin. The crash coincided with reports of the removal of senior Russian general Sergei Surovikin, who was known to have a connection with Prigozhin. The crashed aircraft, an Embraer-135, was en route from Moscow to St Petersburg with seven passengers and three crew members.

An investigation has been initiated into the crash, and all 10 bodies have been recovered. The Wagner mercenary group, which Prigozhin was associated with, has been involved in various conflicts including those in Ukraine, Syria, and West Africa, and is known for its brutality. Prigozhin’s mutiny had created tensions with Russian military commanders and President Putin.

President Putin’s initial response to Prigozhin’s challenge to Russia’s defense establishment was strongly negative. The circumstances surrounding Prigozhin’s death, if confirmed, have raised speculation, with some eyebrows being raised about the possibility of deliberate targeting. US President Joe Biden expressed that he was “not surprised” by the news of Prigozhin’s potential death.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

Survivors of the migrant boat tragedy off Greece’s coast accuse the Greek coastguard of causing the sinking of the overcrowded fishing vessel. The incident, which occurred on June 14, is considered one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent Mediterranean history, with an estimated 750 people on board, mainly from Pakistan, Syria, and Egypt.

Of the total, 104 individuals survived, while 82 bodies have been recovered. The identities of the four survivors who spoke to the BBC have been verified through multiple sources, but they have chosen to remain anonymous for their safety.

The survivors, some of whom are being held at the Malakasa refugee reception center, alleged that the Greek coastguard was towing the boat when it sank in a deep area of the Mediterranean, approximately 80km (50 miles) off the Greek coast. The Greek authorities have denied these claims, stating that when they attempted to secure the vessel with a rope to assess the situation, some individuals on board resisted, expressing their desire to continue the journey to Italy.

The survivors reported being pressured by Greek officials not to speak to the media about the incident or to blame the Greek coastguard. The Greek authorities declined to comment, citing an ongoing official investigation into the sinking.

The German NGO Sea-Watch, which conducts rescue operations in the Mediterranean, commented that towing an old vessel with a large number of people under such conditions is a risky endeavor and likely to result in a disaster. The survivors also disputed the allegations against the nine Egyptians accused of people trafficking, stating that they were passengers, not smugglers.

The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has called for urgent action to prevent further deaths at sea, emphasizing the importance of search and rescue operations and the establishment of safe regular pathways in the Mediterranean. According to UNHCR figures, approximately 80,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean to reach EU states this year, with an estimated 1,200 deaths or disappearances during the journey.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

In Turkey, where another earthquake struck and at least six people were killed, rescuers are once more looking for those who are buried beneath the wreckage. A 6.4 magnitude earthquake that ravaged both countries on February 6 occurred close to Antakya, Turkey, which is located close to the Syrian border.

In Turkey and Syria, the preceding earthquakes left 44,000 people dead and tens of thousands displaced. On Monday, tremor-weakened buildings toppled in both nations. According to Turkey’s disaster and emergency ministry, the 6.4 earthquake struck at a depth of 10 km at 20:04 local time (17:04 GMT) (6.2 miles).

Three minutes later, a 5.8 aftershock occurred, and then dozens of smaller aftershocks followed.

Dr. Fahrettin Koca, the health minister, reported 294 injuries, 18 of them serious.

Since the earthquake occurred in a region that was largely deserted after being severely damaged by the quake on February 6, it is believed that the death toll was comparatively low this time.

As paramedics and rescue teams worked to get to the worst-affected neighbourhoods, where the walls of severely damaged buildings had collapsed, reports from the city of Antakya described terror and panic in the streets.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

About two weeks after a major earthquake killed tens of thousands of people, Turkey has stopped rescue efforts in all but two provinces, the nation’s disaster agency reported. According to the agency’s leader, searches will continue in Kahramanmaras and Hatay.

On Friday, survivors were still being extracted from the wreckage, but chances of discovering more survivors are dwindling. On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken travelled to Turkey. He had planned the vacation before the catastrophe.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Kahramanmaras on February 6 had its epicentre there. There have been confirmed fatalities totaling more than 44,000 in northern Syria and southeast Turkey.

With around 345,000 apartments in Turkey reported to have been damaged and numerous others still missing, the death toll is sure to rise. The number of those who are still missing has not been disclosed by Turkey or Syria.

According to Yunus Sezer, the head of the disaster agency, “search and rescue efforts have been concluded in several of our provinces.”

Over 40 structures in the two provinces, he added, were still the subject of search and rescue operations, though he anticipated that this number would decline by Sunday night.

More than 11 days after they were buried by the earthquake, rescuers retrieved at least three individuals from the ruins on Friday.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Technology

According to Turkish authorities, 113 arrest warrants have been issued in relation to the building of the structures that were destroyed by the earthquake on Monday. There have already been at least 12 people detained by Turkish police, including construction workers.

Rescue operations have been hampered in some areas due to protests in southern Turkey. More than 28,000 individuals have now been officially declared dead in Turkey and Syria.

More arrests are anticipated, but many will interpret the move as an effort to shift responsibility for the catastrophe in general.

Since many new buildings in Turkey are unsafe because of widespread corruption and government practises, experts have been warning about this for years.

In order to promote a construction boom, including in earthquake-prone areas, those rules permitted so-called amnesties for contractors who flouted building regulations.

The earthquake caused the collapse of thousands of buildings, prompting concerns about whether human error contributed to the severity of the natural disaster. After 20 years in office, the president’s future is in jeopardy as elections approach.

The United Nations’ top humanitarian official, who was in the Turkish province of Kahramanmaras on Saturday, called the earthquake the “worst occurrence in this region in 100 years.”

For the first time in 35 years, the Turkish-Armenian border crossing reopened on Saturday to permit the passage of aid.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

In 10 of the regions most severely impacted by the earthquake that has killed thousands of people, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency.

3,549 people have now died in Turkey, according to Mr. Erdogan. There have reportedly been 1,600 fatalities in Syria. In a televised speech, Mr. Erdogan stated that the purpose of declaring a state of emergency is to allow for “expeditiously carried out” rescue operations in the nation’s southeast.

Without providing more information, he said the steps will get aid personnel and money into the impacted areas. Just prior to the elections on May 14, when Mr. Erdogan will try to retain his position as president after 20 years, the state of emergency will end.

The last time a state of emergency was enacted in Turkey was in 2016 following a failed coup. Two years later, it was repealed. In a race against time to locate survivors of the earthquake that occurred early on Monday, rescuers in Turkey are facing heavy rain and snow.

The World Health Organization has issued a warning that the death toll may sharply increase as rescuers discover additional fatalities.

In scenes that were repeated around southern Turkey, heavy equipment worked through the night in the city of Adana, with lights lighting the collapsed buildings and enormous slabs of concrete.

Occasionally, when a survivor was discovered or when the dead were collected, the labour would stop and a cry of “Allahu Akbar” would be heard.

People who lost their homes as well as others who are afraid of aftershocks are all homeless in Adana. Some people departed without their shoes, coats, or phone chargers. Later this week, temperatures are predicted to fall below freezing.

According to the US Geological Survey, the 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred on Monday at 04:17 (01:17 GMT) at a depth of 17.9 km (11 miles) close to the city of Gaziantep.

Later, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake with its epicentre in the Elbistan region of the Kahramanmaras province occurred. The main road leading to the Turkish city of Maras, which is close to the epicentre of the earthquake, was completely stopped in traffic on Tuesday morning.

Cars periodically plodded forward, their red brake lights illuminating the slick road. Only a few rescuers have so far arrived in this region of southern Turkey.

One search and rescue crew, on their way to the city with their van stocked with specialised tools and supplies, told the BBC that while they were excited to start searching for survivors, they were unaware of the extent of the destruction.

According to the most recent announcement from Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), 8,000 people have been saved nationwide from more than 4,700 demolished buildings.

Rescuers in some regions have been sifting through the debris with their bare hands as the aftershocks continue. But the cold is making it difficult to conduct searches.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright


In a shocking report, it is revealed that Syrians were used in the Nagorno-Karabakh war by the European country of Azerbaijan as mercenaries.

The report says that the Syrian mercenaries were recruited at the behest of Turkey. While speaking to media personals, one of those who has been recruited for the war from Syria has reveled that they were cheated by promising lucrative jobs in Azerbaijan. He has alleged that he was promised the job of guard.

There are reports that Armenia also recruited Syrian mercenaries like Azerbaijan. As per the reports, the recruitment process was handled by Russia.

Unsurprisingly, both Russia and Turkey have denounced the reports suggesting their involvement in the recruitment activity.

Likewise, both Azerbaijan and Armenia have declined to accept that they used Syrian mercenaries in the battle for the disputed territory situated between them.

Notably, earlier, there were allegations that Syrians were used in the Libyan civil war.

As per a latest report, at present a recruitment program is going on in Syria for Venezuela.

It is unfortunate that the people of Syrian who were devastated by the Civil War are being exploited.

It is high time to find a solution to the issue.        

Photo Courtesy: Google/ images are subject to copyright