Students living in girls’ dormitories on the Çukurova University campus expressed their demands for an overpass against traffic accidents.
Students residing in girls’ dormitories located on the Çukurova University campus want the overpass to be built as soon as possible to prevent further traffic accidents. Although accidents have often caused severe student injuries, no action has been taken yet. Thus students are reacting to the failure to take precautions.
In 2014, a female student had a traffic accident in front of the Fevzi Çakmak Girls’ Dormitory and was seriously injured. Her friends gave blood to the student, who was in serious condition. In December 2018, a student was injured after being hit by a speeding vehicle in front of the Fevzi Çakmak Girls’ Dormitory and treated in the intensive care unit. In November 2021, when she was visiting a female student injured in a traffic accident, Çukurova University Rector Prof. Dr. Meryem Tuncel stated that the rectorate contacted The Governor’s Office and the Metropolitan Municipality to build an emergency overpass. Instead of an overpass, ramps and traffic lights were installed. However, vehicles pass very fast due to the lack of security and speed control.
The women’s studies society organized a petition campaign with the students to prevent further traffic accidents. When the women’s studies society requested an overpass from the rectorate, the vice-rector stated that they held a tender, but no company had undertaken it. A year ago, when the women’s studies society reached the Municipality for information, they learned that the architecture faculty had undertaken the overpass project. However, within a year, no actions were taken. The students, who reacted to the lack of an overpass, said that the traffic lights were insufficient and an overpass should be installed immediately.
We talked about their overpass request with the students.
“I struggle to get across the street”
“There are traffic lights and a ramp, but those who know there is no camera speeding, even at red lights. We struggle to get across the street. We are afraid. Last year, a female student was injured in a traffic accident. The lack of an overpass was a discussion point even before the accident. But no work has been done,” said a finance student who lives in the dormitory, as mentioned above.
“Drivers who know they’ll go unpunished speed”
Stressing the urgent need for an overpass, the road in front of the dormitory is not safe, said a student of Çukurova University Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department, and continued:
“There needs to be an overpass. So many accidents happened last year because of this. Then the rector said the overpass would be built, but I don’t know if or when they will do it. Too many vehicles pass in front of the country. Even if there is a traffic light, in the absence of police officers, the drivers hit the gas. Both students and stray animals are harmed by drivers who are encouraged by impunity. Last year, I saw an injured student being taken by an ambulance. A driver also hit a dog. They had left the dog in the middle of the road and fled.”
“The lives of students are not important”
A law school student, who complained that the traffic lights sometimes broke down and that the vehicles were passing too fast because there was no security camera, said:
“One of the ramps was removed last year because the President’s convoy was going to pass, and a new one was not put in its place. Even if there was a ramp, it certainly wasn’t enough. It is very difficult for us to cross the street. And accidents happen because ramps and traffic lights are insufficient. Our friends were injured in these accidents. Therefore, it is not possible to say that these are sufficient. In 2019, they promised to build an overpass after the Çukurova University Women’s Studies Society’s campaign. The campaign was launched after our friends got hurt in traffic accidents. The collected petitions were presented to the municipality, and the request was accepted. Even though it was the pandemic time, unfortunately, no construction had started yet. Last year, they stated that they would deal with the issue after another accident last year, but there is still no progress. The municipality says it is at the tender stage. That brings to mind the following questions: Why hasn’t there been a tender for three years? Don’t our lives matter? We want the overpass to be done as soon as possible.”
“We will not take a step back from asking for an overpass”
Another law school student, who stated that the necessary roadwork should already be started for the overpass, said:
“In 2019, as the Çukurova women’s studies societies, we stated that an overpass should be built in front of the girls’ dormitories in our thousands of signed petitions. The municipality responded positively to our request, but we have yet to see any action afterward. When we repeated our submission to the municipality, we were told that the overpass tender was given to the Faculty of Architecture. Still, the faculty didn’t make any statement on that issue. They keep stalling us. In addition, Rector Meryem Hanım’s visit to the injured student in the hospital didn’t seem sincere. If she wants to do something for students, she should back our demand for an overpass, which we have been fighting for years. We will do everything in our power to implement our overpass request. We stand behind our demands as a women’s society until the end. We can start a petition again if we talk to the municipality and get a negative response. Or we’ll organize different actions.”
**Before the news was published, it was learned that the construction of the overpass was undertaken by a company, the demands of the students were met after a long time.