Military refers Afyon blast deaths as ‘natural disaster’
ANKARA - Hürriyet
25 soldiers were killed Sept. 5 when a munitions depot exploded as they were conducting a night-time inventory. DHA photoThe families of soldiers killed in a massive munitions blast last month have expressed bewilderment after they received letters from the military informing them their loved ones had died in a “natural disaster.” The definition means the families will not receive as much compensation as the relative of soldiers killed in terrorist attacks would.
It is incomprehensible as to why the Turkish Land Forces chose to tell the 25 families that their sons “were martyred due to a natural disaster during their duty,” said Taner Uran, the head of the Disabled Turkish War Veterans and Martyrs’ Widows and Orphans Association
“I think this sentence is not true,” he said, adding that 3,000 Turkish Liras had been paid in compensation to each family because the soldiers had fallen in the course of duty.
“The Mehmetçik Foundation will also provide 30,000 liras in aid to each [family],” he said.
“If these soldiers had been killed fighting against terrorism, 60,000 liras would have been added to that benefit. Paying only 33,000 liras to the families is very insufficient. These families should open a law case against the state for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages without hesitating. Some 123,000 liras were paid to the families of those killed in the Uludere incident. It should be kept in mind that these people attended the Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) congress held a few days ago, during which a picture of [imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan] was hung on the Turkish flag during the congress,” Uran said.
The 25 soldiers were killed Sept. 5 when a munitions depot exploded as they were conducting a night-time inventory at a base in the western province of Afyonkarahisar. Another four soldiers and three civilians suffered minor injuries.