Relatives remember Ankara bomb victims
ANKARARelatives have told stories of victims of a deadly attack that killed at least 28 while targeting vehicles carrying Turkish military personnel at the heart of the Turkish capital on Feb. 17.
“Turkey... Don’t forget those braves who left their children fatherless to make our children smile,” wrote 25-year-old Feyyaz İlhan, a communication chief who lost his life in the attack, on Facebook on Feb. 7, expressing solidarity with scores of security personnel who have lost their lives in clashes counterterrorism operations in southeastern Turkey.
His neighbors told daily Hürriyet that İlhan, a staunch supporter for Turkey’s Fenerbahçe Football Club, moved to the Mudanya district of the northwestern province of Bursa from the Başkale district of the eastern province of Van. İlhan was buried in Mudanya.
Fatma Berna Atmaca, a 26-year-old employee of a bank inside the Turkish Naval Forces Command compound who lost her life in the deadly attack, moved to the Turkish capital for professional reasons less than two months ago.
“What would I do without you... I’m dying inside of a great sorrow,” Atmaca’s mother, Hatice Atmaca, said when she waited outside the Ankara Forensic Institute for the body of her child.
Having lost his life just 73 days before being discharged from the military, Ali Öztaş, a 28-year-old soldier who died in the Feb. 17 bombing, served in the military as a driver. Öztaş was originally from the southern province of Adana.
“He never left me uninformed about his whereabouts. I tried to reach my sweetheart as I heard [about]the explosion from television, but I was not able to. Then I heard my sweetheart died at the time,” his mother, Miyeser Öztaş, said.
Ayşegül Pürnek, a 32-year-old victim of the Ankara attack that happened in an area in between Turkey’s top military buildings and parliament in the capital, was an administrative official at Turkish Naval Forces Command.
“We’re at a point that words mean nothing. We lost out nephew in a terror act. May the force of God be with all of us,” Pürnek’s uncle, Ali Pürnek, said. The uncle said the 28-year-old woman started working at the Turkish Navy after she finishing her bachelor’s in public administration at a university in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri.
The burial ceremony for a senior master sergeant identified as Mehmet Kutlu was set to be held in the Bandırma district of the northwestern Balıkesir province after a symbolic funeral ceremony in Ankara on Feb. 19. Married with two children, Kutlu worked at the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) Photography and Film Center before he lost his life in the attack on Feb. 17.
The Ankara attack that targeted three service shuttles carrying military personnel claimed three lives from the same apartment complex located in Ankara’s Eryaman district. Turkish Naval Forces Command officer Cumali Akman and two female officers who have yet to be identified were from the Tuana Homes, an apartment compex in Eryaman.
“We heard the news overnight. We told his wife with the company of a doctor and a nurse. They have an 11-month-old toddler,” said Haydar İhsan Seçer, administrator of the apartment complex, adding that a tent was set up in the complex for those who wished to offer condolences to the Akman’s.
“My son... What would we do without you,” shouted Ayten Pınar in tears, the mother of 28-year-old Air Force Command Sergeant Mehmet Koray Pınar who died in the attack.
At least 28 people were killed and 61 others were injured in the attack, the second attack to target the country’s capital after alleged Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants bombed a peace rally in a major city thoroughfare and left 102 dead. The bodies of the victims were examined at the Ankara Forensic Institute, after which they were given to their families, according to a report by the state-run Anadolu Agency that cited sources from the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.