Bodies of women killed in Iran air crash return to Turkey

A private jet crashed in Iran while returning from a pre-wedding party in the UAE. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 March 2018
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Bodies of women killed in Iran air crash return to Turkey

ISTANBUL: The bodies of 10 of the 11 women killed when a private jet crashed in Iran while returning from a pre-wedding party in the UAE returned to Turkey on Wednesday, a tragedy that shocked Turks.
The women attended the hen party of Mina Basaran, the daughter of Turkish businessman Huseyin Basaran, and were returning home when the private jet crashed into the Zagros mountains.
Mina Basaran, 28, and many of her seven girlfriends who accompanied her on the trip had successful careers with some already starting families. The disaster prompted an outpouring of grief in Turkey.
The other three of the 11 killed, all women, were the two pilots and a flight attendant.
Ten bodies were flown back to Istanbul airport from Iran aboard a Turkish military jet, the Dogan news agency said.
The families of the dead were meanwhile flown home on a scheduled Turkish Airlines flight, it added.
The body of co-pilot Beril Gebes has yet to be recovered, it said, after previous reports said all had been found.
Iranian Legal Medicine Organization confirmed that 10 of the women had been identified. “One of the cadaver bags contained remains which belonged to other 10 bodies. One body is still missing,” it said.
Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization said the plane crashed after a technical problem whose origin remains unknown.
Turkish media reports said Mina Basaran was to marry her fiance Murat Gezer on April 14 at the Ciragan Saray, an Ottoman-era palace by the Bosphorus and one of Turkey’s most prominent wedding venues.
Photographs reprinted from social media showed the eight women lounging at a resort in the UAE and posing with the two pilots inside the plane.
The Basaran Holding company of Mina’s father Huseyin is active in the energy, construction and tourism sectors. Mina had become a board member in 2013.


Sudan protesters plan march on parliament, more demos

Updated 19 January 2019
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Sudan protesters plan march on parliament, more demos

KHARTOUM: A group that is spearheading anti-government protests across Sudan on Saturday said it plans to launch more nationwide rallies over the next few days, including a march on parliament.
Protests have rocked Sudan since December 19, when the government raised the price of bread, and since then have escalated into rallies against President Omar Al-Bashir’s three-decade rule.
The Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella group of trade unions, in a statement called for a march on parliament Sunday to submit to lawmakers a memorandum calling for Bashir to step aside.
“We are calling for a march to parliament in Omdurman on Sunday,” it said referring to Khartoum’s twin city where parliament is located.
“The protesters will submit to parliament a memorandum calling on President Bashir to step down,” added the association, which represents the unions of doctors, teachers and engineers.
Over the past month, protesters have staged several demonstrations in Omdurman, on the west bank of the Nile.
Officials say at least 26 people, including two security personnel, have died during a month of protests, while rights group Amnesty International last week put the death toll at more than 40.
The group spearheading the protests said there will also be rallies in Khartoum on Sunday, to be followed by night-time demonstrations on Tuesday in the capital and in Omdurman.
“And on Thursday there will be rallies across all towns and cities of Sudan,” the statement added.
On Friday, hundreds of mourners leaving the funeral of a protester had staged a spontaneous demonstration in the capital’s Burri district, while crowds of Muslim worshippers had launched another rally in a mosque in Omdurman, witnesses said.
Protesters chanting “freedom, peace, justice” have been confronted by riot police with tear gas at several rallies since the first protest erupted in the eastern town of Atbara on December 19 after the rise of bread price.
The government’s tough response has sparked international criticism, while Bashir has blamed the violence on unidentified “conspirators.”
Analysts say the protests have emerged as the biggest challenge to the veteran leader’s rule who swept to power in 1989 in an Islamist-backed coup.
The protests come as Sudan suffers from an economic crisis driven by an acute shortage of foreign currency and soaring inflation that has more than doubled the price of food and medicines.