World Bulletin / News Desk
A funeral prayer in absentia has been on Monday held for two Turkish activists who died in an Afghan plane crash last week following the noon prayer in Istanbul Fatih Mosque.
The passenger plane belonging to Pamir Airlines crashed on the 17th of May, 2010, in a remote mountain site called Salang Pass, north of the capital Kabul.
Three thousands people attended to the funeral prayer in absentia for Faruk Aktas, coordinator of IHH’s Asia Desk and project coordinator Bahattin Yildiz, as well as for chairman Ahmed Iqbal Yoldas and external affairs represantative Aynuddin Yoldas of IHH's partner organization Hedef (Target) Foundation.
Saadet (Felicity) Party chairman Numan Kurtulmus, AK Party MP deputies Husnu Tuna and Seracettin Karayagiz, AK Party Istanbul Provincial Chairman Aziz Babuscu, Felicity Party Istanbul Chairman Erol Erdogan, journalists Mustafa Karahasanoglu, Ali Bulac, Ibrahim Karagul, IHH President Bulent Yıldırım, ONDER foundation chairman Hüseyin Korkut, and other key representatives of politics, business and civil society organizations attended the funeral prayer.
Families and relatives of Yildiz and Aktas were in the Fatih Mosque as well.
"Aktas and Yildiz were on a trip to Kunduz on a trip to Afghanistan for buying land to build an orphanage on behalf of IHH. After finding the 400-meter-square land needed for the orphanage project, they were on their way back to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, from Kunduz when the accident happened," IHH or the Foundation For Human Rights And Freedoms And Humanitarian Relief said.
Afghan activists who worked with IHH also died in the crash.
"Fully in love with Afghanistan"
During the speeches before the funeral in absentia, IHH President Bulent Yıldırım said, Bahattin Yildiz was fully in love with Afghanistan.
Expressing Faruk Aktas' care for everyone, Yildirim said, "We were together with Faruk in an aid convoy constantly. He was a person who affected everyone. One British brother who met with him first in the convoy became a Muslim in front of our foundation."
Bahattin Yildiz's son, Mustafa Zahid Yildiz, said "Our father always talked about martyrdom and martyrs with us. Now he is one of them."
Faruk Aktas's brother, Cahid Aktas, thanked to everyone participating in the funeral prayer.
The funeral prayers in absentia were held for Yildiz andAktas in Pakistan Islamic University, Patani, Rohingya (Arakan) and Tanzania as well.
Meanwhile, the arrival of the bodies to Turkey will take a while as the identification process still continues.