At least 20 killed in Turkey bus crash

Medics and rescue workers stand at the scene after a tourist bus crashed near the southwestern holiday town of Marmaris, Turkey, on Saturday. (REUTERS/Kenan Gurbuz)
Updated 13 May 2017
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At least 20 killed in Turkey bus crash

ISTANBUL: At least 20 people died and 11 were injured Saturday when a bus carrying Turkish tourists plunged off a road near the southwestern sea resort of Marmaris.
“Sadly, we have had 20 fatalities and 11 other seriously injured,” said Amir Cicek, the governor of Mugla province, who said the bus was carrying about 40 people, many of whom were women.
The accident occurred in a hilly road and the bus plunged into a precipice after smashing through the crash barrier.
Television reports showed that the bus landed on a lower section of the road, and Cicek told NTV television that an investigation was underway.
“The bus’s brakes may have malfunctioned,” he said.
The Hurriyet newspaper quoted Marmaris mayor Ali Acar as indicating an “error by the driver,” without giving further details.
Other media outlets reported that the bus left from the western city of Izmir carrying only women and children who were on a trip for Mothers’ Day, celebrated in Turkey on Sunday.
Marmaris is one of the country’s main resorts on the Mediterranean, and a popular weekend destination for many Turks as temperatures climb.


Syrian children study on the ground in abandoned villa

Displaced Syrian children attend class at a makeshift school in the village of Muhandiseen, in the south western countryside of the Aleppo province, on September 24, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 25 September 2018
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Syrian children study on the ground in abandoned villa

  • Some sit with their knees drawn on a plastic woven carpet, their shoes neatly by its side

ALEPPO, Syria: In rebel-held northern Syria, displaced children sit or lie on the ground of an unfinished villa, bending over their notebooks to apply themselves as they write the day’s lesson.
Four teachers instruct around 100 children — girls and boys aged six to 12 — at the makeshift school in an opposition-held area in the west of the northern province of Aleppo.
Between the bare walls of the villa abandoned mid-construction, children sit or lie on sheets or plain carpets, their small backpacks cast by their side.
Dubbed “Buds of Hope,” the teaching facility has no desks, library or even working toilets.
Instead, the air wafts in from beyond the pine trees outside through the gaping windows in the cement wall.
Dressed in a bright blue T-shirt and jeans, her hair neatly tied back in a pony tail, a barefoot girl kneels over her book, carefully writing.
“This isn’t a school,” says 11-year-old Ali Abdel Jawad.
“There aren’t any classrooms, no seats, nothing. We’re sitting on the ground,” he says.
In one classroom, a gaggle of veiled young girls sit on a bench, as the teacher explains the lesson to one of their male counterparts near a rare white board.
In another, the school’s only female teacher perches on a plastic chair, as her students gather around on the floor, their backs against the wall.

Some sit with their knees drawn on a plastic woven carpet, their shoes neatly by its side.
The children — as well as their teachers — have been displaced from their homes in other parts of Syria due to the seven-year war, a teacher told an AFP photographer.
Some hail from Eastern Ghouta outside Damascus, a former rebel stronghold that fell back under regime control in April after a blistering offensive and surrender deals.
Others come from the central provinces of Hama or Homs.
A dry fountain lies in the courtyard outside the villa’s elegant facade, where girls link arms and swing around in a circle.
Schools in opposition-held areas are generally funded by aid organizations, but have in the past been hit by bombardment.
“We’re always scared of bombardment and of the situation in general,” says one of the teachers, giving his name as Mohammed.
The building lies in rebel-held territory adjacent to regime-controlled parts of Aleppo city to the east, but also the major opposition stronghold of Idlib to the west.
Some three million people live in the Idlib province and adjacent areas of the neighboring Aleppo and Latakia provinces, around half of them displaced by war in other parts of Syria.
Earlier this month, many feared a regime assault on Idlib, but last week Damascus ally Moscow and rebel backer Ankara announced a deal to temporarily halt it.