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.


Pro-Turkey Syria rebels accept Idlib deal, albeit cautiously

Updated 23 September 2018
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Pro-Turkey Syria rebels accept Idlib deal, albeit cautiously

  • The National Liberation Front rebel alliance accepts deal reached or Idlib, but says they remain on their guard
  • Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since erupting in 2011
BEIRUT: Pro-Turkey rebels have cautiously accepted a Moscow-Ankara deal to prevent a Russia-backed regime attack on Syria’s last major opposition bastion of Idlib, while a small militant group has rejected it.
The dominant force in the northwestern region bordering Turkey, the Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) alliance led by militants of Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate, had on Sunday however still not responded.
Late Saturday, the National Liberation Front (NLF) rebel alliance in a statement accepted the deal reached on Monday for Idlib, but said they remained on their guard.
They announced “our full cooperation with our Turkish ally in helping to make a success their efforts to spare civilians from the afflictions of war.”
“But we will stay alert to any betrayal by the Russians, the regime or the Iranians,” the NLF warned, fearing the agreement to be “temporary.”
“We will not abandon our weapons, our land or our revolution” against the Russia- and Iran-backed forces of President Bashar Assad, the rebels said.
Also on Saturday, in a statement circulated on social media, the Al-Qaeda-linked Hurras Al-Deen rejected the agreement reached in the Russian resort of Sochi.
“We at the Hurras Al-Deen organization again announce our rejection of these conspiracies,” it said.
Monday’s agreement provides for a U-shaped buffer zone 15 to 20 kilometers (9 to 12 miles) wide to be set up around Idlib.
Under the deal, all factions in the planned demilitarized zone must hand over their heavy weapons by October 10, and radical groups must withdraw by October 15.
Both the extremist Hurras Al-Deen and NLF rebels are present inside this planned buffer area, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.
But the dominant HTS alliance is also widely present, according to the Britain-based monitor.
The militant-led group — which controls more than half of the Idlib region — has not officially responded to the agreement.
But its propaganda agency Ebaa has cast doubt on Turkey’s motivations.
In August, HTS leader Abu Mohamed Al-Jolani warned opposition factions in Idlib against handing over their weapons.
Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since erupting in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-Assad protests.