Victims of bus accident in Turkish resort of Marmaris laid to rest on Mother’s Day
İZMİR/MUĞLAVictims of a bus accident in the Turkish resort district of Marmaris in the Aegean province of Muğla were laid to rest on May 14 Mother’s Day in the western province of İzmir.
Some 24 people were killed and 11 others were injured when a tour bus carrying 34 passengers and heading to Marmaris from İzmir’s Buca district for a one-day trip toppled in Sakar Geçidi on May 13.
The bus tumbled down a cliff and fell on a car 15 meters below it, after which ambulances, fire department and teams from Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) were dispatched to the scene.
The initial death toll was put at 17, but it was later raised to 24, of whom 21 were women.
The passengers were heading to Marmaris to participate in an event marking Mothers’ Day on May 14.
After the accident, Muğla Governor Amir Çiçek said the incident was a judicial one.
Muğla Deputy Governor Kamil Köten said the bus, driven by Armağan Serttaş, was carrying local tourists.
“There were no foreign tourists inside it. The cause of the accident is being examined,” Köten said on May 13.
Marmaris Mayor Ali Acar, meanwhile, said “the situation is dire.”
“A high number of people were killed. I think that the accident was a result of the failure of the driver,” Acar said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan released a statement on the accident, in which he passed his condolences to the relatives of those killed, while wishing a speedy recovery to those injured.
European Union Minister Ömer Çelik also passed his condolences.
The bodies of the victims were sent to Buca via vehicles belonging to the Muğla Municipality after their funeral procedures were completed in a Muğla forensic medicine institute.
The funerals of those killed were held in Buca with the attendance of thousands of people, including Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, İzmir Mayor from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Aziz Kocaoğlu, and Buca Mayor from the CHP, Levent Priştina.
“The cause of the accident will be found out after thorough examinations,” Yıldırım told reporters upon leaving the funerals, adding that even though the infrastructure improved in the last 10 to 15 years, “a machine that could prevent human mistake couldn’t be invented yet.”
Yıldırım also pointed to the significance of education on rules in traffic.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency after the funeral, Kaya said 80 million people in the country were experiencing a bitter Mother’s Day because of the accident.
Kocaoğlu, meanwhile, said that while the reason for the accident remains unknown, “it occurred probably due to a malfunction in the brakes.”
“We are all very saddened. This is a huge loss and a massive disaster,” Kocaoğlu said.
Another accident took place in the Central Anatolian province of Konya early on May 14, in which 20 people were injured as a result.
The bus carrying 41 people returning from a wedding in the southern province of Adana toppled in Konya en route to the western province of Aydın.
The passengers reportedly warned the driver after averting a number of accidents.
“Are we going to be on TV, too?” the passengers reportedly asked the driver, referring to the accident in Muğla.