Mayor released in Antalya cable car accident case

An Antalya court has ruled for the release of Kepez Mayor Mesut Kocagöz in the initial hearing regarding the fatal cable car accident in the Mediterranean province in April.

Kocagöz was detained shortly after a man fell to his death from a shattered cabin in the cable car facility on April 12. Due to the system's abrupt halt, 174 individuals in 24 suspended cabins were stranded and eventually rescued after approximately 23 hours of rescue operations.

Elected as the mayor of the Kepez district in the local elections on March 31, Kocagöz was accused of negligence in his previous role at the cable car operating company.

During the June 11 hearing, the mayor asserted that he had resigned from his position at the cable car company months before the accident to focus on his electoral campaign.

He defended that under his tenure, maintenance and inspections of the cable car were conducted meticulously.
"I have been in custody since April 14. I have perused the expert reports multiple times. I pondered on what actions I could have taken to avert this calamity. I have served as a public servant for 35 years. There has never been anything to bring my integrity into question," he expressed.

After the accident, allegations of serious negligence in the inspection and periodic maintenance of the cable car occupied the country's agenda for a long time.
Local media earlier reported that passengers warned the operator immediately before the incident. The cable car had been halted for 50 seconds, and then reactivated.

Suphi Kaplan, who was working as an assistant operator at the time, was arrested during the June 11 hearing.

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