Four dead after military helicopter crashes in Istanbul

Fire fighters and police inspect the site of a helicopter crash in Istanbul. (Reuters)
Updated 11 February 2019
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Four dead after military helicopter crashes in Istanbul

  • The helicopter plowed to the ground in the residential Cekmekoy district
  • Four Turkish soldiers were killed last November after a military helicopter crashed in another residential area of Istanbul

ANKARA: Four soldiers were killed on Monday after a Turkish military helicopter crashed in a residential area of Istanbul, the province’s governor said.
“Unfortunately four of our soldiers became martyrs,” Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya told reporters at the scene.
Yerlikaya said no other military personnel or civilian had been injured after the helicopter plowed to the ground in the Cekmekoy district.
The incident happened around 18:51 (15:51 GMT), he said in televised comments.
Images on Turkish television earlier showed thick black smoke emanating from behind a white wall at the site on the Asian side of Istanbul.
Yerlikaya said the Istanbul public prosecutor had launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.
Four Turkish soldiers were killed last November after a military helicopter crashed in another residential area of Istanbul, hitting a four-story building.


Turkey bans rally for Kurdish MP on hunger strike

A member of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) reacts next to policemen during a demonstration in solidarity with a HDP lawmaker on hunger strike in the Turkish city of Diyarbakir, on February 15, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 16 February 2019
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Turkey bans rally for Kurdish MP on hunger strike

  • Ocalan, one of the founders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, has not been allowed to see his lawyers since 2011

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey: Turkish police on Friday prevented supporters from rallying outside the home of a pro-Kurdish lawmaker on hunger strike for 100 days.
The protest bid coincides with the 20th anniversary of the capture of Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is jailed in a notorious prison island near Istanbul.
Leyla Guven of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), launched her action on Nov. 8 while in jail to protest against Ocalan’s prison conditions.
She was freed last month under judicial supervision but continued her protest, refusing any treatment. Guven, 55, is consuming only sugared or salted water.
Police on Friday blocked supporters from approaching Guven’s house in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir after a rally called by the HDP, an AFP correspondent said.
“The biggest task ahead of us today is to turn every aspect of life into an arena for struggle and support hunger strikes at the highest level,” HDP MP Dilan Dirayet Tasdemir said.
“This dark picture and severe conditions of fascism can only be broken through our organized struggle,” Tasdemir said.
More than 200 prisoners are on hunger strike to protest what they call Ocalan’s isolation, according to the HDP.
Ocalan, one of the founders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, has not been allowed to see his lawyers since 2011.
The PKK is blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.
Ocalan was caught in Kenya outside the Greek Embassy in Nairobi on Feb. 15, 1999 by Turkish secret service agents after attempting to seek asylum in Europe.
Turkish authorities last month allowed Ocalan’s brother Mehmet to see him, the first visit in over two years.