Prominent major general killed in helicopter crash in Turkey’s Şırnak
ŞIRNAKA prominent major general who has played an important role in the struggle against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was killed in a helicopter crash in the Şenoba district of the southeastern province of Şırnak.
Major Gen. Aydoğan Aydın was among 13 soldiers killed when the AS 532 Cougar-type helicopter reportedly became tangled in a high-voltage power line shortly after taking off from the Şenoba Brigade Command late on May 31.
Aydın was well-known for his role in the fight against the PKK in Şırnak’s Cizre district, the Sur district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır and the Nusaybin district of the southeastern province of Mardin.
In addition, he was also praised for his role during the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, which is widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
Aydın learned about the takeover attempt when he was in the southeastern province of Hakkari for an operation and called his unit in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri to order them to stay in their barracks. He also called Kayseri Gov. Süleyman Kamçı to let him know that he was against coups.
“I’m with my state and the people. Not one soldier will be leaving the military barracks from my unit,” Aydın told Kamçı.
Aydın graduated from the Turkish Military Academy in 1987 and served in critical positions throughout his career.
In one anti-PKK operation carried out in northern Iraq in 1997 and 1998, contact was lost with the unit under Aydın’s command. He managed to break a siege of PKK militants, “neutralize” them and returned to the country with his unit.
In 2012, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and became the Kayseri commando brigade commander.
Even though his unit was in Kayseri, Aydın was often assigned to the regions of struggle against the PKK and led many operations.
Aydın was briefly detained after the foiled coup because coup-plotting soldiers included his name on a list of putschists.
He was released on July 20, 2016, returned to his duty and was once again promoted, this time to major general, in the most recent Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meeting, before being assigned to Şırnak.
Aydın had been leading an anti-PKK operation on Kato Mountain that started on April 19.
He made headlines on May 28 when he informed Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on the ongoing operation during the latter’s visit to Kato Mountain. Upon Soylu’s request, Aydın also talked to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the phone and informed him as well.
“We found weapons, ammunition and life supplies in amounts that weren’t previously seen in the history of the struggle against terror. There will be an increase in the number of caves [used by PKK militants] in the following days. The fact that this equipment was found in this area will contribute to the fight against terror across Turkey. The cleansing of this area will also help in stopping terror in Ankara and Istanbul,” Aydın told Erdoğan.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım visited Aydın’s family in the capital Ankara after the crash to offer his condolences.