World Bulletin / News Desk
A ceremony was held Thursday for seven of the 13 soldiers martyred in a helicopter crash in southeast Turkey.
Defense Minister Fikri Isik, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu were among the mourners at the 23rd Gendarmerie Border Division Command in Sirnak city.
Chief of the General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and the heads of the army, navy and air force -- Gen. Salih Zeki Colak, Adm. Bulent Bostanoglu and Gen. Abidin Unal -- also attended the ceremony.
The bodies of the seven -- Staff Col. Gokhan Peker, Lt. Col. Songul Yakut, Maj. Koray Onay, Capt. Nuri Sener, Capt. Serhat Signak, Sgt. Maj. Mehmet Erdogan and Spc. Sgt. Zeki Koc -- are to be returned to their hometowns.
The remains of the six other casualties, including Maj. Gen. Aydogan Aydin, have been transferred to the capital Ankara for autopsies.
The crash happened late Wednesday when a AS532 Cougar helicopter hit power lines shortly after take-off from a base at Senoba in the Uludere district of Sirnak province.
It was the third accident involving a Cougar helicopter in the last 20 years. A total of 15 soldiers were martyred in 1997 and 2003 crashes. The multipurpose helicopter has been used by the Turkish military for 21 years.Last Mod: 01 Haziran 2017, 13:36