Governor’s office denies intoxicated police officers claim in death of two children in Turkey’s southeast
AA photoThe governor’s office in the southeastern province of Şırnak has said the police officers who caused the death of two children by an accident in the Silopi district were not intoxicated, refuting claims of the residents of the area.
Two brothers were killed after a police vehicle crashed into Mesut Yıldırım’s house in Silopi’s Karşıyaka neighborhood late on May 3. The tragic incident occurred while the children, Muhammet Yıldırım, 7, and Furkan Yıldırım, 6, were asleep, as the armored police vehicle crashed into the house.
Residents of the neighborhood said the person driving the police vehicle was intoxicated.
“The fact that our two children were killed after a police vehicle crashed into one of our citizen’s house deeply upset and shook us. The allegations in several media outlets and on social media regarding the driver police officer being intoxicated do not reflect the truth. No alcohol consumption was determined in the breath and blood tests conducted,” the governor’s office said in a statement released late on May 4, adding that the incident was being investigated administratively and legally.
The funerals of the children were held on May 4 after their autopsies were carried out in the Silopi State Hospital.
Speaking about the incident, the uncle of the killed children, Suat Yıldırım, 31, said they thought a bomb exploded when the vehicle crashed.
“My brother Mesut, my aunt-in-law and I were sitting in the room. We put the kids to sleep at around 11 p.m. They were sleeping on the floor of the living room. We heard a sound similar to an earthquake. We thought it was a bomb and ran to the living room. The vehicle was inside the house,” Yıldırım told daily Hürriyet on May 5, adding that they couldn’t see anybody in the car.
“There were no police officers in the vehicle. They were gone,” he also said.
Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu criticized Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for not releasing a statement on the incident.
“It’s a scandal that the prime minister and the president haven’t released statements yet,” Tanrıkulu said on May 5, adding that the authorities are trying to pass off the incident like it is an ordinary case.
“Even though the killing of two children while they were in their beds can be shocking for a country and it needs the statements and condolences of all high-level authorities, unfortunately it is being treated as an ordinary case. This incident is too heavy and painful to be passed off. Those who caused Muhammet and Furkan to die should get the heaviest punishments, and they should plead guilty and apologize to the Yıldırım family,” he added.
Tanrıkulu expressed his condolences to the Yıldırım family and the people of Silopi, vowing his party would follow the case.