Family of Turkish driver shot by US soldiers to receive compensation
ISTANBUL - Demirören News Agency
A court in Istanbul has decided that Turkish employers of truck driver Şeymus İlan, who was shot by American soldiers at a U.S. base in Iraq 13 years ago, should pay compensation of 2.3 million Turkish Liras ($444,000) in total.
İlan had received a transportation job on behalf of Gözal Consulting Agency and Serka Construction Company at a U.S. base in Iraq. On March 17, 2005 İlan loaded his truck with pebblestones and a convoy of trucks hit the road. However, İlan’s tires were blown out and he was left behind. After fixing the truck’s tires, İlan arrived in Mosul on his own. 100 meters to his destination point, at the FOB Courage entry, İlan was shot by American soldiers. He was injured and after staying at the hospital for 15 days, he lost his life.
İlan’s death was hidden from his his wife and three kids. Americans and authorities from the Turkish companies told İlan’s family that he was staying at an American Hospital between Ramstein-Karserslaite in Germany. The family never saw İlan again.
After some time passed, Lieutenant Andrew S. Lunoff , who serves in the U.S. Army, wrote a letter to the deceased driver’s family, confessing the death of İlan. In his letter, Lieutenant Lunoff declared that İlan was shot on March 18, 2005 accidentally and told the family that Şeymus’s records were found so they named him "John Doe". Lunoff also told the family that Şeymus was cremated with respect to Christian traditions.
Following the confession letter of the lieutenant, İlan’s family sued the two Turkish companies for damages.
İlan’s wife Zekiye İlan, his three kids and his parents claimed damages.
In accordance with the expert’s report, the court in Istanbul ordered the two companies to pay İlan’s wife to receive 1,254,000 TL for pecuniary damages and 80,000 TL for non-pecuniary damages, and his three children and his parents to receive 931,000 TL for pecuniary and 65,000 TL for non-pecuniary damages.