Eight Turkish nationals die in fire in Germany
Fire swept through an apartment building in southwestern Germany on March 10, killing seven kids and a mother from a Turkish family that migrated to Backnang, near Stuttgart. Reports have suggested that the deceased were Nazli Ozcan Soykan, 40, Hatice, 17, Yilmaz, 14, Abdulkadir, 8, Izzet, 7, Yasin, 6, Ahmet, 3 and 6-months-old Murat Soykan. The family was from the province of Afyonkarahisar. Police said in a statement that they believe the fire broke out in a second-floor apartment and that their investigation focused on a heater in the apartment. The building is a former leather factory that now contains several apartments. Fire department officials initially said they suspected an electric malfunction in the building. Police also said that there are no indications of arson or xenophobic motives. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag demanded a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident. Bozdag said Ankara was closely following the cause of the fire and measures by German authorities to address the incident. He added that Turkey expected German authorities to find the real cause of the fire that will leave no doubt. Turkey's Ambassador to Germany Huseyin Avni Karslioglu who flew from Berlin to Backnang after hearing of the incident, said they were deeply saddened over the death of Turks in Germany. Turkish Consul General in Stuttgart Turker Ari also visited the site and said it was still unclear how the fire broke out. Furthermore, President Gul also reminded the public that Turkish nationals living in Germany had been the victims of many premeditated crimes and arsons in the past. Gul assured the public that Turkish officials were considering every possibility, but said it was too premature to say that the fire was started with xenophobic motives.